It’s the end of an era in Chicago–Charlie Trotter’s is shuttering after 25 years. I would go on and on listing all the honors, all the accolades it’s received over the years, but nothing beats experiencing it yourself, and I’ve been lucky enough to do exactly that.
Of course, it was an eye-opening delight. Spring onion with Indonesian vanilla, wild ramps, fiddlehead ferns and chives. Marcona almond risotto with green almonds and red wine. Meyer lemon with toasted brioche ice cream and caraway meringue. It’s been three years, but out of eight incredible, innovative vegetarian courses, one of the desserts has stuck in my mind the best: olive oil ice cream with a rich, dark chocolate sauce and cherries.
You know what time of year it is.
A wise man named Tracy Jordan once said, “Live every week like it’s Shark Week.” That’s sage advice; Shark Week is not the time to doubt ourselves, or hesitate, or worry, or apologize needlessly. Shark Week is the week for your tallest heels, and whatever the manquivalent is. Shark Week is for doing bold things that make you feel like a pygmy shark (those exist!) in a big, huge, scary ocean. Shark Week is a good time to tell your neighbor that your name is not, in fact, Daniella, even though he seems so content calling you that (maybe I’ll hold off on that one till next year, though).
Shark Week is perfect for having a whiskey cocktail “too early,” whatever that means.
And look–I made us one.
What can I say about summer that hasn’t already been said?
Do I even need to? I’m not sure. I do know that every blogger who’s ever posted a chocolate chip recipe has probably wondered–what else is there to say? All we really do, subtly, is tell you: “Make x because it’s in season.” ”Make y because it’s healthy.” ”Make z because it’ll impress your friends.”
Sometimes there’s no need for any of that. No one needs to be told that chocolate chip cookies are delicious, or that summer is a special time. It’s not even my favorite season, but I appreciate it, and I love it. Maybe it’s so commonly understood to be special because the joy of getting out of school for three months when we were kids? Mind. Blowing. We felt like we won the lottery, thank you very much–every 12 months.
I don’t think that feeling leaves as we age. We don’t get to sleep in M-F anymore and spend entire days lazing about in a backyard, reading Jack Kerouac and listening to Sonic Youth on our Walkman (yes, I was as insufferable a teenager as I sound).
But, the pleasure associated with those memories always stays, and every time we glance out the window at 8:30 and see it’s still light outside, consciously or not, we remember the last of the truly carefree times we had.
All this rambling, only to tell you about the time I wanted to make ice cream that tastes like cherry limeade (and did).