Not standing the heat, I have got out of the kitchen…

blue_table22jul_0014 Bananas for breakfast in the sun…after coffee and cherries.

“Summer Cooking” by Elizabeth David is amongst my favourite books, but on a day like today the title is not. I associate the word cooking with heat, so when the temperature outside is topping 32ºC the words “summer” and “cooking” are best enjoyed when not in conjunction. The air was already beginning to ripple with heat as I came down for coffee at an early hour. Perfume from a bowl of ripe nectarines rose up to meet me inducing me to take a handful of ripe cherries, from a neighbouring bowl,  to eat as I opened the house. Whilst the coffee gurgled on the stove I ate some more cherries and thought about not cooking dinner. I’d bought a cornichon cucumber from the stall, a few days ago, cucumber_pickled_0274which I had finely sliced, salted and pickled with some sugar and white wine vinegar. This sweet and sour confection would be perfect with some slices of pale pink smoked trout, together with a salad of peppery rocket leaves from the garden. A very good potato salad would only entail boiling some waxy potatoes, which use of heat would be the only gesture made towards cooking. The cooked potatoes will be each cut into four pieces and bathed in a little olive oil and white wine vinegar to absorb whilst they are still warm. The addition of a  spoonful of capers, some finely sliced shallot, a sprinkling of sea salt and ground black pepper completes this dish. Not only is this good to eat immediately but it is even better by the next day. strawbs_vendee_prep_0185 Strawberries, cherries and nectarines will make a near perfect dessert. I have just remembered that there are some crisp home made meringues that would love some fruity company this evening, and they shall not be denied.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, bananas, Breakfast, capers, cherries, Coffee, Cooking, desserts, Digital photography, Elizabeth David, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Fruit, Kitchens, Markets, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, summer, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Weather, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Not standing the heat, I have got out of the kitchen…

  1. I’m glad you got some cherries, Roger!

  2. Fitting that I read this at lunchtime. I don’t have to whine about your making me hungry. 🙂

  3. Mad Dog says:

    I escaped too, to Covent Garden for lunch in the shade. It was lovely, but murder cycling back to Tufnell Park in 32º 😉

  4. (whines: i’m hungryyyyy!). That cucumber doo-dah sounds lusciously simple to make. Is there a “secret” grandma’s recipe??

    • The “grandpa” on the roadside stall told me about salting and fridging overnight. I added the wine vinegar and sugar. It’s using the cornichon cucumber which is not as watery as the standard cucumber. It’s just a cornichon that has grown too big:)

  5. What’s the attitude about air conditioning over in France? Are they an aire libre society or do they use window units? central air?

    • I’m not sure about that. I don’t know anyone with air conditioning in their houses, except for the occasional portable units. Most stores have it, and I guess offices. It’s a hot place the further south that you go, so I guess for hotels and businesses it’s pretty standard. There are so many old buildings in France which would be difficult to adapt.

  6. That potato salad sounds like something I’d love. Wish I’d read this before going to the market. 🙂

  7. Roger, you are making me hungry with your “descriptive cooking” 😉

  8. Sounds utterly divine.

  9. Eha says:

    Darn it: what is wrong with you guys? 30-35 C is warm > pretty warm, when you hit 40 + C you are beginning to be allowed to say hot!!! Even turn on the AC 😦 !! I strongly advise you not to visit Down Under in summertime 🙂 ! Oh, coffee and bananas: wonderful to break the fast – not so sure about cherries – to each their own 😀 !

  10. Michelle says:

    Looks like you’re doing a very fine job without the oven.

  11. angela says:

    Would love to try this cucumber…do you keep in fridge during the process?

  12. Sounds like a perfectly planned meal – we’re eating a lot of beautiful potatoes drenched in olive oil too now. So easy, so good!

  13. mrsgillies says:

    I will be over for dinner thanks!

  14. Tandy says:

    What an amazing meal! Perfect when you don’t want to cook 🙂

  15. I’m melting here in the languid heat lakeside myself.. and of like mind regarding any form of baking, cooking or otherwise. All hail the meringue and fruit.. I’d just have that and skip the rest (being completely lazy). But if someone were to serve it to me.. how could I resist.

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