TND – Wilting

July 18, 2012

My grandmother kept her bread in the oven. As a child this made perfect sense to me simply on the rationale that that was where Mimi kept her bread. She also drank buttermilk, washed her dishes in water three degrees below boiling (I inherited this), watched Dallas and had atrocious handwriting (possibly I also inherited this). It wasn’t remarkable, it just was.

As an adult keeping her bread in the oven still makes sense to me because nobody sane turns on an oven in August in Virginia unless they absolutely have to, so you might as well use it for something. It does make me wonder why her bread never went moldy; I have to keep my bread in the fridge because anything left on my countertop in the summer develops mold within 24 hours.

Actually now that I think about it very few of my food memories of summers in Virginia involve warm food. Most of my food memories are about sliced tomatoes and cantaloupe, frozen yogurt and oreos straight from the freezer, onion dip from Ukrops on Town House crackers, and cream cheese with red pepper jelly (also on Town House crackers – Mimi liked Town House crackers). The few things I can remember eating that were hot – corn pudding, baked potatoes – were all cooked in the toaster oven, because again sanity + Virginia in August. On the nights that it was too hot to even contemplate being at the house one more minute we’d go out to Friendly’s, or stop by Bill’s Barbeque for take-out after a movie. I assume that we did actually eat food that required cooking because most proteins do, I just don’t have any memory of what it was.

Massachusetts is currently doing a stellar impression of the Virginia of my childhood, and the temperature this week has hovered in that median point between ‘even I’m uncomfortable’ and ‘sapping my will to live’. In recognition of this, and the fact that the temperature in my apartment hasn’t dropped below 83 all week, Dinner was designed so that I’d be the only person who had to suffer through a period of time when the oven was on for 90 minutes. By this I mean that all cooking was done on Monday night and served up cold on Tuesday, with the minor exception of turning on a burner long enough to boil water for corn (I like corn better roasted, but see above about sanity + ovens). I’m pretty sure that everyone at Dinner last night was grateful for this – also that they didn’t have to turn on their ovens.


(cold) Moroccan Roast Chicken
Tomatoes with Buttermilk Dressing
Roasted Beet & Orange Salad
Baby Spinach Salad w/ Peaches, Raspberries & Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing
Corn on the Cob


(cold) Moroccan Roast Chicken

Recipe previously given: Paean to Summer Vegetables

Tomatoes with Buttermilk Dressing
There are big fat gorgeous tomatoes at farmer’s markets, but sadly despite the fact that everything else seems to be jumping the season (we’re already in corn season) local tomatoes are still hot house ripened not field ripe. I mean, they’re still a million times better than anything you can get in a grocery store, but they still need a little help so I doused them in garlicky herby buttermilk dressing.

Recipe previously given: How Dinner is Like a Computer Game

Roasted Beet & Orange Salad

Recipe previously given: On a Mission

Baby Spinach Salad w/ Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing + Local Peaches & Raspberries

Recipe previously given: The Experimental Pickle Edition

Corn on the Cob
Local corn y’all. This is the time to gorge yourself.



  1. Man, I missed a good Dinner.

    • This is what you get for spending time with your family 😉

  2. Hey there my lovely and long-lost cousin! Reading this made me nostalgic for playing with Jenny and Becky under the magnolia trees…

    • Hey! How are you doing?

      Every time I wake up in the morning with my fan still going I think of Mimi coming in at 2am when she went to bed to turn the fans off so they wouldn’t wake us up in the morning. Also, walking Miss Brownie around the neighborhood and having everyone stop you and ask how Miz Perry was doing.

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