I’m a believer in possibility. I love ideas, large ones that include exotic destinations, books turned into Oscar-award winning movies, and sunny, open bakeries not unlike the one in “It’s Complicated.” Very few of these grand ideas ever realize their potential. Maybe that’s why I love cookbooks so much. Each recipe a possibility of a fabulous breakfast, dinner or dessert, and when actually executed each pea pod, squash, fish filet or cherry reaches its full potential. And while I may side-step that large iceberg of my own potential I can be part of the miraculous potential of turning apples into apple pie. And Elizabeth David meets me in her desire to produce the greatest potential out of the possibility of summer produce in her book, Summer Cooking. Although I prefer the NYRB version, there is a new one coming out very soon. Here is Elizabeth in all her splendor speaking of summertime and strawberries,
As I understand it, summer cooking means the extraction of maximum enjoyment out of the produce which grows in the summer season and is appropriate to it. It means catching at the opportunity of eating fresh food freshly cooked.
Strawberries and Cream
My own preference is for strawberries accompanied by the little cream cheeses which the French call coeur a la crème, and the Italians mascarpone, but of course this needs fresh cream as well, and plenty of sugar to strew over it. Wild strawberries are, to my way of thinking, infinitely more delicious than any cultivated strawberry, and they don’t need any adornment except sugar, although the Italians often put red wine with them, and sometimes orange juice. They make the best ice cream in the world. Anybody who has the chance of trying can use the recipe for strawberry ice cream on pg 163.