A June Letter from the Editor: What’s Your Cooking Adventure, and Are You Packing Your Knives?

published Jun 3, 2019
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Friends, I’m writing to you from the back seat of a car, squeezed into place next to a preschooler and a toddler, engaged in what is known as a Summer Adventure. We’re headed east to Maine and Vermont for a full two weeks of exploration, beach relaxation, and fun, but the preschooler has already acquired the exquisite art of asking whether we’re there yet. It’s only been an hour and I’ve already dispensed M&Ms, yogurt pouches, and the emergency toy I was saving for much further down the road. It’s going to be a long drive, but you know how I know it will all be truly fun in the end? I packed my knives.

It’s unfortunate how sinister that line sounds, alone on the page. But “I packed my knives,” for a cook, is actually code for: “We’re on vacation, and I’m gonna cook!” It’s code for: I’m unshackled from the daily routines and rhythms of work and life, making ultra quick meals or meal prep. I have the leisure and luxury to stretch out in a vacation home with a view of the ocean and access to fresh lobster. I’m going to crack the cookbooks I don’t get to actually use most of the year, and take extravagant time and energy to sprawl out in the kitchen, freed by grandparents and a very relaxed partner.

“I packed my knives” is code for: I get to cook creatively, adventure-style.

And what knives did I pack? I packed my travel knife roll, a handy and sturdy sleeve that now holds my favorite Chubo chef’s knife and serrated knife (far superior to the dull and wavy knives you usually find at a vacation rental that just spoil all the fun of cooking), a couple good paring knives, and my beloved Microplanes, because I think zested lemon and Parmesan will be part of the picture somewhere.

Read more about essential tools for your travel kit (darn! I just realized I forgot my thermometer)

Can you relate? Are you headed somewhere good this month? If so, take this letter as a reminder to recharge your cooking muscles on vacation, whether that’s taking a break from cooking and eating out every night; or, like me, actually cooking for fun instead of just to feed the family.

This June at Kitchn

That’s our goal too, this month at Kitchn: to invite adventures and help you recharge.

Some of the highlights this month include a trip through the recipes that define California home cooking right now, so wherever you live you can get a taste of what this ever-cool and rich state has to offer the rest of the country.

We have an entire week of steak coming up in case you, like me, love to grill steak as that special yet simple meal on vacation or for Father’s Day. We’re doing a slam-bam battle for the very best way to cook a steak at home (should you actually freeze it first? You’ll find out!).

For those of you not traveling at all this month, we are still keeping things simple and hands-free, with a summer slow cooker package of recipes and roundups to refresh you on our simplest, easiest recipes so you can focus on having fun in the summer and not cooped up in the kitchen.

Last but not least, at the end of June we’re launching a new series that we’ve been working on for over half a year: The Way We Eat, a return to our roots of showing more vividly how ordinary people cook and eat every day, profiles and portraits of cooks across the country and from many diverse perspectives. We’ve been taking our time launching this, because I think that those of you who have loved Kitchn for years and remember our old Kitchen Tours will also love this series but even more so, and we want to get it just right. After it’s launched it will turn into a weekly series that will really be part of our regular heartbeat here.

That’s us, but we’re also taking it a bit easy this month, giving our editors some time to relax and recharge and get their vacation time in. Like me, on my little adventure, family-style with kids in tow (I’m currently headed to Portland, where I’m definitely going to be consulting our Portland Bite-Sized Travel Guide to the best places to eat).

How about you? What’s your adventure this June? I’d love to hear what you’re planning this month for adventure, recharging, and getting your cooking mojo on. Tell me where you’re going, or if you’re staying home, how you’re recharging. I’d love to hear the recipes you’re hoping to try, and the cookbooks you’d like to open. Happy cooking!