summer pea salad with unexpected dressing

A little catch-up: Two days ago, our kids boarded a bus to sleepaway camp while dozens of parents waved like (I’d like to think adorable but also value self-awareness) lunatics as it pulled away. I learned a few years ago when my son went to camp for the first time that I become unmoored — who am I if nobody demands things and interrupts my thoughts all day?! — without the presence of my adorable but exhausting offspring. Last summer, I ran out of cooking steam while waiting for my daughter to request anything but noodles for dinner. This summer, despite the fact that she’s a baby who was just born (don’t tell me otherwise), my daughter also wanted to go to camp, mostly because she wants to be wherever her brother is and I’m not crying, you are. Fortunately, from the photos I refresh, refresh on the camp app all day — in lieu of doing anything more productive or even hedonistic with my time — show them to be having a blast and how could they not be when the first night ended with whipped cream pies in the faces of the counselors on the losing team and nobody challenges their palates beyond pizza, chicken nuggets, and waffles?

summer pea salad-2

This is still a cooking blog, I promise. But if the structure of my cooking life for the last 13.75 years has been shaped to the needs of people who need to be fed multiple times a day, what is left? The reality is that when my kids are away for one night or three, we just go out. We live in New York City; why on earth would we be washing dishes if we could be getting queso fundito and the Caeser-y tomatillo salad at Yellow Rose, as we did Sunday night, or meeting friends at Win Son, as we will later this week, or sweeping sourdough through the garlic-chile butter puddle left behind by the prawns a la plancha while drinking vermouth at Cervo’s, as I’m sure we will weekly?

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