Lazy Days & Sultry Nights

by Jennifer Iannolo

It’s very hard to focus at this time of year; I find my thoughts drifting all over the place, and sometimes I want to do nothing more than make a Margarita and sit by the pool. However, work beckons. Sigh.
August is supposed to be about kicking back and savoring those last moments of penetrating sunshine. Yes, they’ll still be here in September, but it isn’t quite the same – this is the one time of year you can get away with flip-flops in just about any setting. Life is all about grilling, avoiding use of the oven at all costs, and skinny dipping. (Did I just write that out loud?)

When my mind conjures up visions of sultry summer nights, it veers toward thoughts of places like Savannah, Georgia, where a Southern Belle might be sitting on a back porch with a tall glass of icy, sweet tea (perhaps spiked for good measure). I just spent a week in Atlanta, and I must say this: That the fine folks of the South can keep their tempers in such oppressive humidity is a testament to their politesse – in New York we just get kind of cranky. Ok, more than kind of. And yes, I did somewhat take a “vacation,” but that doesn’t count because I had to work during some of it, so hush.

Hopefully you will be spending some part of this month at the beach, and I promise to feel envious at least once a day for those who might be digging their toes into soft, white sand as I slave away at this keyboard. I refuse to be bitter, however, and instead choose to assist you in making the most of such a celebration. See, I’m working on that New York thing.

The natural fit for beaches and backyard grilling is that summer seafood staple (and this month’s Main Ingredient), the lobster. We’ve created a number of ways to showcase our little red friend, and in a salute to classic pairings we are featuring vanilla as this month’s Indulgence. We’ll feature that by itself as well, because while many think vanilla is one of those bland ingredients (shame on the people who started that nasty rumor), we find it to be quite decadent and sinfully delicious. We do have a knack for delving into sinful things, and for the record we’re mighty proud of it.

I’m also delighted to welcome our new resident mixologist to the Gilded Fork house: Damian Sim of Provocachic™ in Singapore will be crafting an innovative cocktail each month featuring one of our ingredients, which will add a creative twist to your entertaining. We encourage you to stir, shake and sip right along with us.

And in case you haven’t visited our boutique in a while (of course you’ve already visited at least once), we’ve just added a new line of balsamic vinegars from Modena to our shelves. Fabbi Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale comes in the loveliest little bottles, and makes a wonderful gift. We are featuring balsamics that have been aged 5, 8, 15, and 25 years, and these are a sure way to enhance your summer salads, fruit dishes, desserts and anything else you can think of that requires drizzling. I might even try it on a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.

So off to the beach or the backyard, you summer slackers, and please think of me as you are sipping a refreshing cocktail. I expect a full report of the debauchery as soon as you have recovered from your splendor.

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