We are sold out for the summer. What a great thing to be able to say! Camp has been going along fabulously, and besides the pictures I’m posting here, you can visit the camp Instagram account for lots more great photos. One thing the kids have loved making is pita bread, so I’m including my favorite recipe as our Recipe of the Month. Watching the flatbreads puff up like magic is a lot of fun, and they are totally delicious. See below for the link. In the meantime, here's some highlights: The results of a salsa competition, a proud group with their version of Khao Soi, another group making takoyaki with a guest chef, a fabulous blueberry tart made with group-made plum jam and lots of custard, and some of the kids on the last day of class showing off for their parents.
We’ve been very, very busy. We’ve hosted large and small groups, but during camp season, starting 4 PM at the earliest on weekdays. We have a big party Saturday night, and a couple of weekends back, we had a fun rental — tryouts for Master Chef India! These are all amateurs but great cooks, if the tastes I got were any indication. One of the judges was the chef at Raj at the Campton Place hotel, a very nice and friendly chef. Master Chef India isn’t shown on mainstream TV here, you have to subscribe to the Indian channel to see it, but it was a kick to have them in the house.
Classes for grown-ups
Rosetta Costantino has a lot more spots available in her A Taste of Calabria class Friday the 15th than usual — a lot of summer vacationers are away, I guess. The class will make one of my favorite dishes of hers, her homemade Calabrian sausages, plus lots more — including a dessert of cakes that are filled with pastry cream, and made to look exactly like peaches. Quite amazing. Grab a friend or two and sign up. It’s rare that the classes have spots this late!
Rosetta also has two classes in August, A Taste of Sicily on Friday the 5th, and The Queen of Vegetables: Eggplant from Appetizer to Dessert on Friday the 26th. Check out the menus and give yourself a treat!
Eric E. Weiss, our knife sharpening guru, has his next Knife Sharpening class on Monday, August 15th. Join in and learn how to keep your knives sharp, and make prep work fly by. Did you know that the easiest way to cut yourself in the kitchen is with a DULL knife? It will slide off the food into your finger much more easily! Do yourself a favor, and learn to keep your tools in tip-top shape!
In the Market
Spring veggies like asparagus are getting scarce. It seems like the artichokes are back, at least to some extent. Lots of eggplants, the beginning of peppers — got some great Hungarian peppers last weekend, the pale green ones shaped like slightly smaller bell peppers. They are great to stuff. Check out my Hungarian Stuffed Pepper recipe for a great idea, or make up your own version. There have also been plenty of pardon and shishito peppers, little green ones that are mostly not very hot, that you sauté until they blister, and serve as is, with some salt, or with some cheese. Yum! Lots of good greenery, plenty of broccoli and cauliflower, carrots, zucchinis and other summer peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes — not all the farms yet, but some have brought excellent tomatoes to the market. Corn is another stand-out. My own tastes run to the yellow varieties, but any you prefer is around. I’ll do a Quick Bites entry on corn shortly, so sign up if you are interested.
Cherries are still great, but the ones at the farmers market have dwindled. The good ones now are from Washington, and the price in the stores is quite good. Again from the recipes file, try Cherry and Almond Clafoutis — a winner of a dessert! Stone fruit is all in, apricots mostly done but there are still some varieties. Peaches, nectarines, plums are worth going to the farmers market for, they are just head and shoulders above what you can get in the store. Melons are excellent as well, both watermelon and my favorite, Galia, as well as canteloupes, honeydews, and all the rest. There are even early grape varieties showing up in the market.
Recipe of the Month
The kids in camp love making Pita. It’s easy, just takes a little time (15 minutes to knead, an hour or less to rise) and can be made ahead. These taste magically good, far better than store-bought. So, here’s our Homemade Pita Bread recipe for you to try!