Here’s what I could do without come the summer season: mosquitoes and flattening heat. But here’s what I love about June, July and August: the produce. Corn, tomatoes, blackberries, peaches, watermelon…these are the things I dream about all year around.
This morning I went to the Peachtree Road Farmers’ Market for the first time, in swanky Buckhead. (Not to sound perjorative–I grew up in swanky B’head.) Usually I go to the Morningside Market–in swank but not quite as swanky Morningside–but my friend Frederick told me I had to try Peachtree Road. In addition to the usual suspects of produce–the aforementioned corn, tomatoes, blackberries, peaches, watermelon–Frederick said that Pine Street market (a local charcuterie) had a stand, as well as Holeman & Finch bakery. So. I made the schlep to the land of my youth.
So many vendors. So much good stuff. I got big ol’ field tomatoes from Riverview. I almost bought okra but realized who was I kidding? I wasn’t going to be heating up oil in this hot, hot weather, and if you don’t fry okra, well…you’re missing out. I got a spicy salami from the good folk at Pine Street market. (Side note: When I returned home I put the spicy salami on my kitchen counter. An hour later I was ready to snack from it and couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked and looked and finally thought to question the dog. And there, on her bed, was the wrapping from the salami that was no more.)
Back to the market: I was planning on just buying the salami but they were sampling their applewood smoked bacon and it was so good I bought a package. Bought a loaf of homemade white bread from the Holeman and Finch bread people, too. By this point I was thinking about one thing and one thing only: BLT’s. Or rather, BBT;s (bacon, basil and tomato.) Actually, BBBT’s (buttered bread, bacon, basil and tomato.) Did I buy anything else at the market? If so, I can’t recall. I came home and fried up 6 pieces of that bacon, toasted 4 pieces of bread with a little butter (BBBT), pulled some basil from the garden and sliced some tomatoes. All that was left to do was assemble the suckers, sealing the deal with a little Duke’s mayo. Alan and I practically ate the things standing up. They were super, the tomato juice mixing with the mayo, the bacon so salty and smoky, the basil adding a piquant freshness, the homemade white bread way more structural than Wonder. Way more backbone and bite.
Wowsers trousers was it good.
Supper was even simpler. All prepped on the big wooden cutting board. (What would I do without that cutting board and my serrated tomato knife–thank you Ilan Greenberg who gave us the knife for our wedding, cuz what says a lifetime of togetherness like a tomato knife?) But I digress. Supper was simply a chopped tomato salad with basil cut into strips, a few balls of fresh mozzarella, a piece of white bread toasted and cut into little squares, the whole thing baptized with olive oil, salt and pepper. That was it. See photos below. I just love how quickly this little summer supper came together, how it’s as good as anything else you can eat, but all it takes to prep is 5 minutes top.
The raw ingredients:
Add a beer and Bob’s your uncle.
Okay, about that expression “and Bob’s your uncle…” Has anyone ever heard that before? My friend Todd Johnson uses it, meaning something like, “and that was that”, but he says I don’t use it correctly even though I’m trying desperately to incorporate it into my vocabulary.