Every summer, while normal people are grilling chicken, tossing salads, and doing anything possible not to turn their ovens on, I'm usually roasting a 20-pound turkey. Glossy magazines need their November turkey recipes by August, which has made for some sweaty July's, especially before I had air conditioning in the kitchen (which I've since remedied, thank God, because it's been a scorcher).
This year though, there was a dearth of turkeys. I didn't get one Thanksgiving assignment, which was both a relief (I mean, it's been HOT), and also a little bit of a bummer. I like eating turkey out of season, but even I wouldn't crank up the oven for several hours in the middle of the hottest summer on record just because I was in the mood to nibble a drumstick. I also discovered by its absence that I like getting a taste of the holiday season in the summer. It makes the whole-end-of-summer depression that sets in during August (a relic of back-to-school blues, I guess) more bearable, bringing a reminder that with the season's demise comes roasted chestnuts and glazed brown fowl and presents and hot cocoa and snow.
I was starting to feel a little forlorn. But then I got a redeeming assignment from Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. This year, instead of roasting turkey for hours, I was assigned a standing rib roast. My kitchen got steamy even with the a/c. It was rare and juicy and tasted like December. And now with my off-season roasted meat yen satisfied, I'm happy to turn off the oven for the rest of the month.
(I'll link to the recipe when Rachael Ray magazine posts it online, probably in October. I mean, nobody's going to make a standing rib roast in August unless they're being paid to do it, right?)