Tomato Galette with Sweet Basil Crust

“To air condition or not?” That’s the question . . . at least it has been in our house for the last month.

A friend called on Monday.  “How are you handling the heat?”

While our current heatwave is nothing compared to the one that swept Europe last month, there are afternoons when we all start to melt like snowmen and slink downstairs to seek refuge in the cool rooms on the lowest level of our house.  Our home was built in the time before air conditioning.  And really, many houses here in Colorado don’t have it.  We just don’t need it, at least not for about ten months out of the year.  As for those other two months – July and August – despite the scorching afternoons, the nights are cool enough that, if you open the windows wide when it’s dark, by morning the house is blissfully cool.  And that’s just what we do.  As soon as we wake up, with coffee in hand, we wander around the house closing all the windows to keep the heat out.  It’s become almost a ritual, and it keeps the house cool until late in the afternoon when the cycle starts all over again. Continue reading “Tomato Galette with Sweet Basil Crust”

Eggs in tomato sauce (Shakshouka)

I come from a family of “food-hoarders.”  You can’t blame them.  For the generation that endured the Great Depression, food stockpiles were a necessity… and the generation after simply learned from their parents.  But I’ve found that when food is hoarded, food is wasted.  So, as to not fall into the same pattern, and to be sure nothing goes to waste, I’ve set a few rules for myself: 1.) do not buy something until it’s actually needed. Continue reading “Eggs in tomato sauce (Shakshouka)”

The Summer of the Zucchini Tart

Every summer has its signature dish.  It’s the one thing I find myself making over and over.  That one dish that we completely forgot about over the winter, but in the heat of summer we can’t get it off our minds. Like waking up with that song stuck in your head.  You love it but you can’t stop thinking about it until you listen to it again…as loud as possible…on repeat!   Last year was all about Continue reading “The Summer of the Zucchini Tart”

Heirloom Tomato Tartines

I never profess to be a very good gardener, though I try.  When we bought this house, we did so because of the land.  It was on half an acre in a quiet suburb just outside the city, and though the house was old and a little quirky, the kitchen was small and the floors were in desperate need of refinishing, the yard was perfect for our greyhounds and the gardens had beautiful potential.  I could see springs filled with fresh flowers and herbs and tender baby lettuce; summers overflowing with tomatoes, zucchini, cabbages and leeks; falls teaming with acorn squash, pumpkins and corn.  There was a lilac hedge along the western edge of the property – so old-fashioned!  A wild climbing rose traced thorny tendrils up the wall next to the kitchen window – so enchanting! Continue reading “Heirloom Tomato Tartines”