“But for all this, she was putting on weight; for if she did not eat she drank, as everyone did. From the first sundowner, gulped down hastily to give her vitality after the hours of work, she drank steadily through the evening until she arrived back in her room in the small hours, slightly tipsy, if not drunk. She was only doing as everyone else did; and if someone pointed out to her, ‘You are living on sandwiches, sundowner snacks, and alcohol, you are sleeping three hours a night,’ he would probably have gotten for his pains a dark and uncomprehending stare; for that was not how life felt to Martha; it was a rush of delicious activity, which, however, was just beginning to flag.”
Doris Lessing, from Martha Quest
I’m not a fan of dieting – the industry, the fads, the body policing, the class profiling, or the skewing of priorities that can be seen in the quotation, above. I am a fan of fresh, delicious, easy meals in the summertime, however. This week’s recipe may fit the first category, but more importantly for me, it fits the second one, too. My version of this simple tartine consisted of sourdough rye topped with a creamy cottage cheese (no need to add sour cream) and a mixture of orange pepper and English cucumber. I dressed it with an Herbes de Provence fleur de sel and some freshly ground pepper. My chives aren’t doing that well in the record-nearing dry spell we’ve been experiencing this summer, or I would have used some of those, too. (If you check out the link, let me know if you agree with my assessment that the presenter’s glasses likely date from that record dry spell year.)
Later this summer, I’ll make it with radishes, yellow zucchini, cucumbers, or tomatoes from my own garden. For now, I’m content to use the local produce (from farmers who get their stuff into the ground in a timely fashion, unlike me) that abounds this time of year. A drizzle of olive oil, balsamic, or both wouldn’t be misplaced, but I liked it without, this evening. Next time, I think I’ll rub a garlic clove on the toast before I dress it.
As for dieting, I’ll eschew it in favour of moderation in all things (even moderation) and some love and respect for my genetic heritage – all the little French Canadian women on my mother’s side of the family end up a bit round in middle age. And with that, I think I’ll have a dish of this blackberry basil crumble, which was fresh and easy, too, made with basil from my garden and the accursed blackberries that afflict my backyard.
You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Dieter’s Tartine