Is there anything more inspiring than a farmer’s market at the height of the summer, piled high with funky heirloom tomatoes, eggplants from fairytale to freakishly large, crinkly peppers, bi-color corn as far as the eye can see and stone fruits in every color of the rainbow? Wouldn’t this be a great time to cook with all of them? Isn’t it almost a moral imperative to fill our systems with as much of summer as we can before it passes and we spend the rest of the seasons pining for its return? Probably, I mean, yes, of course. But cravings are cravings, and what I’ve really been dreaming about is so-called Chinese food, like, the terrible stuff that comes unceremoniously in white boxes with an embarrassment of chopsticks (because they thought you were ordering for a dozen people, and not just the three of you). I’ve long accepted that if I don’t at least occasionally indulge cravings, they’re never going to pass.
The irony of craving unfancy takeout in a sleep-deprived, no-energy-for-cooking period of time that would normally be full of it is not lost on me. If a combination of a few freezer meals plus grandma deliveries of everything from soup to lasagna to pelmeni and vareniki weren’t ensuring that we’d never have to order in, I’d probably never want to see a Seamless.com order screen by now. But cold sesame noodles have long been one of my desert island dishes, and at least once or twice a year, nothing else is going to cut it.