In late May, after months of lockdown, our health experts in Massachusetts announced their guidelines for opening up, including the recommendation that people visit with family and friends outdoors, rather than inside. Because we have an enclosed porch, we have never taken advantage of our large yard, though we had envisioned Adirondack chairs under the canopied shade of old trees on our lawn. That all changed this summer when we ordered six of these iconic chairs. It took over a month and countless phone calls to locate a set, but finally they arrived.
Now we have moved our social distancing al fresco, and love the simple menus we are sharing with cautious friends. This week a neighbor and I are cooking an array of comfort foods– grilled burgers, grilled corn of the cob with seasoned butter, sesame and ginger coleslaw, and baked beans. For dessert, we’ll end with a warm plum and almond crisp served with scoops Continue reading →
Like Memorial Day and July 4th that precede it, Labor Day is a holiday celebrated casually. For the last of that triumvirate of summer fêtes, most cooks (and I am certainly one of them!) will be pulling out grills, cooking burgers, steaks, chops–you name it–over open flames. I’m especially excited about my menu this year since I’ve been fine-tuning a recipe for grilled pork tenderloins and plums served with a verdant summer salad.
Nothing could be easier. The tenderloins are marinated in a simple mixture of balsamic vinegar, soy, and canola oil with generous seasonings of fresh ginger, garlic, and black pepper. If you have enough time, it’s best to marinate the meat overnight, but in a pinch you can let it rest for several hours. Grilled over a hot fire, the meat needs 20 to 25 minutes until fork tender and the flesh blush pink. During the last few minutes, juicy plums, quartered and skewered, are cooked quickly alongside until slightly charred.