Well, this time I think that I am really back and feeling much restored... I am getting on with the new book, but more slowly than I would like. As I try new things, odd thoughts pop. Avoiding flour, I ask myself why all these years I have routinely dredged things in flour before sauteing them. In fact, it doesn't need to be done. The meat will brown very well on its own as will appropriate vegetables. The flour really only gives browned or burnt flour. If you feel a great need to dredge before browning, try cornstarch.
The chef, Eric, at the Newfane Inn, Newfane, Vermont--the area in which I garden and often cook--solicitously, made me some sweetbreads the other night in just this way and they were excellent.
This past weekend, the white peaches that should have been picked a week earlier when I was away, clamored for attention. White peaches are fragile. Sadly many of them had bruised spots, wasp holes or were actually around the bend. The only solution was to pick them and do triage. My daughter and I dug out the nasty bits, peeled the peaches and cut them up. I sprinkled them with lemon juice as they rapidly discolor. We put them through a food mill, sterilized some jars, just boiled the mashed up peaches and canned them. I didn't sweeten this puree. It can always be sweetened later. I am looking forward to a summer reminiscence in the form of Bellinis, sorbets and glazes.
There was a daunting plethora of wild Boletus (mushrooms) to be cleaned, sliced, and put out in a single layer on paper to dry, There was a bounty of black Chanterelles (Trompettes du Mort) which made a wonderful risotto.
In fact, I was ready to get back to the city and avoid my guilt at not having done more; but I was tired.
Soon the garden will have to be put to bed except for the cold-loving, dark, sturdy greens. I did bring a load of basil back with me to melt in olive oil, puree and put up as ice cubes.
The weather has been very odd this summer and I had fewer tomatoes than usual.
Back to work.