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It’s hot now. That good kind of August hot. As I once lived in New Orleans, I do know heat, and the North Shore of Boston is not heat. Here it just sort of teases you a little bit…catching a glimpse of cardinal out of the corner of your eye before it disappears behind a tree. NOLA heat is not subtle….a black iron skillet dropped on a shoeless toe.

Nevertheless, who wants to turn on an oven or stovetop in August? And why would you?

Close your eyes and reach into the box of tomatoes at any farmer’s market right now and you’ll be right and rewarded.

Doubly so if you’re as lucky as I was today and see a container of white anchovies in the little refrigerator at Vidalias.

Recipe: Summer Tomato “Carpaccio” with White Anchovies 

Make the brilliant “vinaigrette” as described in Genius Recipes by peeling and smashing a few cloves of garlic and putting them in a small bowl with 2T of red wine vinegar and a 2t of kosher salt.

Let it sit while you do the rest:

Slice a tomato very thinly with a serrated bread knife

Fan out the tomato slices on a plate

Cut a very fresh onion into a few super-thin slices, and — ala Thomas Keller — rinse the onion to “make it a little less harsh,” and then chop it up

Make yourself a Campari and soda

Lay a white anchovy on top of every other tomato (or, if you’re me, on every tomato)

Sprinkle the onions over the tomatoes/anchovies

Now, pour the garlic-infused vinegar over the tomato/anchovy; careful to hold back the garlic with your finger

Pour a little good evoo on top

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Summer is so fleeting. Time goes faster as we get older. For me, it’s is the smell of just-shucked corn and the sound of whatever those insects are that hum all through the August days; desperate in their final attempts of expression before it’s too late.

It’s the way I feel when I head to Vidalias this time of year, and see the fruit and produce that was grown just around the corner and picked this morning. I want to capture it before it’s gone and I’m back to coaxing tenderness and sweetness out of tubers and alliums with low heat as the snow falls.

Right now, the fruits and vegetables are at their most sweet and tender. And, like August itself, you don’t have to do much except try to catch it before it’s gone.

Quick Raspberry Jam

Take a handful of raspberries (or really any ripe fruit) and put them in a small heavy-bottomed sauce pan.

Add a little bit (1/4 cup) of water and some (1/4 cup) good honey. Cook over medium heat – stirring every now and then to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom – for about 15-20 minutes.

It will thicken up as it cooks, and the raspberries will break down, but it won’t become super thick.

When you’re tired of cooking/stirring, take it off the heat and squeeze in a little (2 tsps) lemon juice and taste and adjust.

Put the sauce pan inside a metal bowl filled with ice and water and stir to cool faster.

Spread it on some good toasted bread, and – if you have some corn butter kicking around (and you should) – put that on the bread first (or use a little bit of olive oil).

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