Friday, August 03, 2007

Waiting for that cool autumn air

I hate cooking in summertime. Summertime calls for cool foods like fruit, cucumbers, melons, mayo and grilled proteins like chicken, burgers and salmon. It also means that slow cooking like roasting or braising is out of the question as it heats up the house, when the house is already to warm. Even if you could cook a meal without any restrictions, the heat also changes your diet. Having melt in your mouth braised short ribs just isn't appetizing in August, but it is to die for in November.

My culinary talents lie more in fall and winter cooking. Root vegetables, dark greens, braising, hearty soups, slow cooking sauces, and fresh homemade pasta. Spring and summer force me to experiment with foods to keep the food light and refreshing. For example, I like fruit as a snack, but making a meal out of plums or peaches just doesn't make me reach for a cookbook. Fall and winter foods are rich, multi-layered and filling yet still healthy. The best thing I can think of for summer is spicy foods, mainly tacos and salsa.

Now I have to admit, this summer has been pleasant in Southern California. No really hot days so far. But my eye is on the calendar and the 10 day forecast, waiting for that first cool blast of fall to hit hot Southern California. You know that day has arrived when your sitting at home in the evening and while watching tv, you have to get up to close the window because its too cold. That night you will find me reading cook books in search of the next great fall fare.
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