I don’t know about you, but I have been LOVING this summer weather in Baltimore. It sounds like an oxymoron. Baltimore? Summer? Love? Usually I get excited for spring, I dread the heat of the summer, and I can’t wait for fall. September is normally just an extension of summer. I scoff when I see cardigans and sweaters lining up in stores near the end of August. It’s still shorts and tank tops, people!
Today, though, I actually chose to wear jeans. Last week at the evening farmers market, I wished for pants and a warm-ie! Can you believe it? Chilled in the middle of August as soon as the sun goes down. I was flabbergasted.
And by the way, my dear dad calls anything long-sleeved that’s not a sweater a warm-ie. So do I.
It is a relief to have 70’s and 60’s at night, and just up to 90 or below during the day. Baking granola is not so unbearable, with those monstrous gas ovens in a hot kitchen. Setting up the market tent is a breeze, with barely a sweat on my brow. Sitting and chatting with customers is all about the beautiful day, instead of can-you-believe-how-humid-it-is? And. No bugs. Justin and I have eaten almost all of our dinners out back, on the deck, with the twinkle lights on, and never had to apply bug spray. Maybe I got two bug bites all together.
Let’s stop gushing and talk about food. What have you been making lately? Have you been taking advantage of the bounty of real tomatoes, fresh peaches, honey-sweet figs, and summer squash? This morning I made savory pancakes, using a natural yeast starter that was made by my mum. There are myriad recipes for natural yeast pancakes, but I chose the easy route: pour some natural yeast into the pan. That’s it. No eggs, milk, sugar. Just a mixture of flour, water, and fermentation. Since I wanted savory, I didn’t miss any of the traditional pancake ingredients. Instead, I opted for the slightly sour dough taste of the natural starter, and I sprinkled a seed and garlic blend on top before flipping the pancake. The garlicky seeds stuck into the batter and, when flipped, turned nicely golden. I served it with a thick tomato slice on top, followed by a second pancake, and lastly two fried eggs. You can make it as little or big as you want. Two tomato slices, one egg, you name it. Sub sauteed zucchini for the tomato, or switch to root veggies as the seasons change.
I don’t have a recipe for you, since you may not have natural yeast starter sitting in your fridge. If you do, use it. If not, use a traditional pancake batter but omit the sugar. I had a nice seven seed blend with some potent garlic in it. If you don’t have something similar, you can make your own blend of seeds, dehydrated onion, powdered garlic, salt. Or saute garlic and onions and add them to the pancake batter. It’s your call.
So the basic recipe is:
Make savory pancakes.
Top with a thick slice of fresh tomato or other veggie of choice.
Complete with fried egg, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Even Evelyn liked it. But then again, she seems to like everything.
What has been cooking in your kitchen? This is what has graced my plate lately.
Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini from Smitten Kitchen
Baltimore Peach Cake (a variation on this recipe)
Fresh Corn Pesto Tagliatelle, adapted from Bon Apetit
Mushroom Celeriac Pecan Pate (scroll down a bit to see recipe)
Chicken Liver Pate from Bon Apetit
Hope you have a wonderful, summery day.
Photo credits: Candice Gormley