Morning means menu-planning here where land meets sea, and both send up gifts of nourishment and pleasure. Concentrated on a tiny peninsula in Rhode Island is the best that New England—or anyplace—has to offer: unhomogenized cream, grass-fed beef, sour cherries, currants, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and gooseberries; gorgeous lettuce; tree fruits and nuts; lobsters, clams, and ocean fish; native poultry and eggs; sensational potatoes and corn; tomatoes in their infinite variety of color, size, shape, and texture. In the morning, when the deer come out and the birds are just waking, when the fox and the coyote are going home, I take my coffee outside and think about dinner. In the morning, I go to the farms to buy what’s good or what calls to me. In the morning, I bake for breakfast or the weekend’s guests.
Living well through food is surprisingly easy. Great ingredients and surefire, pitch-perfect recipes are a good start, and we’ll talk about that and how/where to find them, or to know them when you see them. But equally important is a shift in thinking, perhaps a little learning, to see how simple and enjoyable it can be. So we’ll also talk about some of my other favorite subjects, the true secrets of making good food part of everyday life: using the freezer, seasoning food, putting together a menu, radical preserving, pacing of cooking tasks, stocking a pantry, entertaining at the drop of a hat, understanding food temperatures. They all work together in a seamless, organic whole.
The return to the seasonal and local is lesson number 1: food is remembering. What’s new is old. You may have arrived late, but welcome to the table.