Go ahead. Ask around about the best use for a watermelon. You’ll get some cool ideas – grill it, fry it, sip it in a drink – but you’ll also likely unleash the inner child in many a grown-up. Drop it from the highest building you can find and film the entire process in slow motion, one guy said.
Gazpacho, that zesty cold tomato soup full of fresh raw vegetables, is top on my mind this time of year.
When fresh markets, farm stands and gardens are overrun with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions, I could eat gazpacho every day.
HOW SWEET IT IS when the sweet corn comes in. Local farms are flush with it, but there's more to corn than fritters and cobs. "I Love Corn" (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012, $19.99) by Lisa Skye dishes corn-centric recipes from world-famous chefs, including Daniel Boulud, Pichet Ong and Dan Barber. Armed with the book, you could eat corn for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.
YOU NEEDN’T BE a Vanderbilt to eat like a Vanderbilt. I learned that earlier this month during a vacation to the Smoky Mountains and George Vanderbilt’s palatial Biltmore, where – as a working estate – much of the food was grown or raised to grace the grand mansion’s tables.
Mindy Berger has an unusual routine when she's whipping up creative vegetarian dishes in her Chesapeake home: She describes what she's doing out loud. With no one else around.
It's all for good reason. Berger is practicing for a vegetarian cooking show she's pitching to public television.
I was overdue for an oil change when the mechanic peered through the crescent-shaped opening between the engine and the raised hood of my car. "Do you know what these are?" he asked, holding up a tangle of rogue wires attached to the engine.
One of my favorite food books is "Epitaph for a Peach," the soulful, first-person account by an organic farmer in California who allowed himself one year to find a way to save the endangered Sun Crest peach.
Here's a great book if you're intent this summer on making friends with the backyard barbecue. "Grilling - More Than 275 Perfect Year-Round Recipes," by the editors at Good Housekeeping, also includes easy-to-digest basics such as how to start a charcoal fire and what the heck high and medium heat mean. The recipes that follow call for direct cooking over medium heat.
"Phenomenal." "The real deal." "A gift to the seafood industry." The inaugural boatload of red crabs that sailed into a Hampton harbor this summer arrived with more promise of potential than a first-round NBA pick.
INDIAN FOOD is exotic, but "Quick-Fix Indian: Easy, Exotic Dishes in 30 Minutes or Less" (2012, Andrews McMeel Publishing, $16.99) takes the mysticism out of it while preserving the flavors. Author Ruta Kahate once ran a California cooking school where she pressed her students to grind every spice fresh and to never veer from scratch.
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