My lovely girlfriend, Nicole, once coined a phrase to describe my personal style – you know, my thing, my look, that vibe I put out to the world. I hadn’t seen her in a year or two, and upon greeting me, I believe her exact words were, “Oh, I see – you have that lazy pretty thing going on.’ Lazy Pretty. Hmmm…I was at once intrigued. There is something about Lazy Pretty that just feels so right, isn’t there? I take Lazy to mean not overdone, not too fussy. Yeah, my hair is always on the mussed side and I might be wearing the same pants for the second (let’s be honest, third) day in a row…but my bohemian-hipster street cred is through the ROOF.Not gonna lie, it describes me to a T.
With seasonal veggies and good meat as the base, cooking is no longer an exercise in
(1) Adding flavor to your food, or
(2) Taking yucky things out of your food.
Lazy Pretty also describes my approach to cooking. I attribute it to being raised on a farm. We didn’t have fancy kitchen equipment, and our spice cabinet consisted of salt, pepper, sugar. Seriously – that was about it. Summer supper time was simply what came from the outdoors: Cantaloupe, sweet corn, lots of okra fried in cornmeal, loads of sliced tomatoes, cucumber and onion in vinegar galore, and grilled meats.
Only recently, as a time-strapped mom cooking for my own brood, do I understand the true brilliance of using farm-to-table ingredients. It makes the job of cooking ever so much easier! When seasonal, farm-to-table ingredients are used, the cooking process does not need to be complicated or fussy. Why? Because the flavor is already there. With seasonal veggies and good meat as the base, cooking is no longer an exercise in (1) Adding flavor to your food, or (2) Taking yucky things out of your food.
Those steps are already done for you. Rather, when great quality ingredients are used at the height of seasonality, our job in the kitchen becomes minimalization. The flavor is already there friends – we just need to let it shine. Hence, using the best quality ingredients you can buy – i.e. farm-to-table foods – is the definition of Lazy Pretty cooking. You don’t need to do much to make it delicious, and guaranteed the meal will feel, taste, and look beautiful.
Here’s my advice on bringing Lazy Pretty to the kitchen: Pay-up for the highest quality and most seasonal foods and ingredients you can find. Inevitably, these are produce and meat that come from a small farm, or your own backyard garden. You’ll find yourself paying less for fancy kitchen equipment and overdone seasoning mixes. ‘Cuz with great ingredients as the starting point you really don’t need them. Cooking becomes easier when you let the main ingredients provide the flavor for you.
So without further ado, I leave you my Easy, Farm-To-Table Memorial Day Menu. Sigh, I really wanted to call this curation of yummy food my Lazy Pretty Memorial Day Menu. Alas, I was overruled. I hope you enjoy this Memorial Day, BBQ menu, and as always, I hope you are enjoying some good, clean, healthy meat.
P.P.S. All the pretty pics below were taken by friend and fab photographer Brook of Brook Palanca Photography. Note: There is no lazy in her pretty…all she does is just plain pretty!
Easy, Farm-To-Table, Memorial Day Menu
Farmer’s Blend Burger with Hickory Smoked Garlic Aioli
This burger is all about the burger. And it’s easy to prepare. Here’s the recipe: Grill a great burger made from great grass fed ground beef, add a tiny dollop of amazing aioli. That’s pretty much it.
Heritage Franks with Stone Ground Mustard
Again, the beauty of this recipe is that there is no recipe. The rich flavor of our heritage, pasture-raised pork combined with the lightness of our grass fed ground beef speaks for itself – it’s just good. Here’s how to make Heritage Franks with Stone Ground Mustard in three easy steps.
Arlou’s Chilled Asparagus with Tarragon & Chèvre
This is another easy, go-to recipe that harnesses the flavor of a late spring harvest.
Helen’s Epicurean Potato Salad
Much thanks to Helen S. Fletcher for letting us use her yummy potato salad recipe.
Basil Blackberry Shortcake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream
There’s not much to say… this dessert is just plain yummy. AND, it is seriously easy and quick to prepare.