It’s summer. I don’t recall a time when temperatures were 104 degrees in June, when fishing was halted for the season, campfires so cautionary, the creek’s water feels like August.
Tomatoes reaching to hold garlic’s twisted hand, kale leaning on cabbage’s shoulder. Flea beetles feasting on potatoes and beans. I plan to blast them with some chrysanthemum love this week.
I shared a photo on instagram a few days ago with this caption
Summer dinners must be ready in 7 minutes or less: fresh baguette oven-toasted with hummus, pesto, sharp cheddar. Piled with lettuce and arugula. Barely blanched peas, Cherries.
This season – with it’s sunset frisbee, playing at the creek until 9, falling into bed smelling of the sun and the earth – well, I don’t take much time to cook. Thankfully, this season – with it’s bounty of fresh food at the ready – allows for easy, delicious dinner in a few minutes. Maybe more than 7, but that’s a good thing to shoot for.
I miss those series a little bit. I think I like the structure until I don’t. Or maybe I get distracted by other, more pressing things in my brain. The truth is I have piles of stories I’d like to tell, recipes I’d like to share, etc. Maybe someday everything here will be tidy and contain my thoughts as they unfold. But I don’t think so; really, that’s not honest for me. Life seems to tug me deeper into the woods, further down stream, higher up the mountain. For now, the woods, the river, the mountain — they keep my ideas safe.
Anyway! I made a simple rice number that got the thumbs up from both kids and grown ups, several times over. In fact, Ruby asked if we could have it every day for the rest of the summer. I told her it is a deal if she promises to pick up the 317 tiny pieces of paper she cuts and tosses all about the house every day. She’s thinking on it.
Coconut Rice with Peas & Sage
serves 6 as a side dish
2 cups jasmine rice
1.5 cups coconut milk (our favorite coconut milk)
handful chives, minced
2 cups peas – I used peas from the garden but frozen peas would work fabulously too
5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Place rice, coconut milk and 2.5 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until done. The secret to good rice is in how it sits after it cooks. Turn cooked rice into a bowl and do not stir. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes. 45 minutes is even better. The time to sit preserves the delicious, delicate clumps of rice. Stir too soon and you get gummy slop. Prep the rest while it cools.
If using snap peas, devein (grab end that was attached to vine, snap off and pull to remove the string along the long edge) and cut into thirds with scissors. Place peas, chives, sage, a few tablespoons of olive oil and generous pinch of salt on top.
Fold ingredients into rice and serve at room temperature. Or chill; it’s great cold too. We like with with hard boiled eggs and a big salad of greens, kale, feta, sun dried apricots and apple cider vinaigrette. Try with scrambled eggs and sriacha the next morning. Or fold it into burritos the next night.
After a quick, fresh and healthful meal, get back out there.