Some of you know that I'm a bit of a food geek. Here are some of the meals I've enjoyed lately.

A vegetarian housemate brought back lobster from a department dinner, and I scored a couple steaming, spicy claws. Man, it's been a while since I ate food like that.

Cinnamon raisin bagel spread with mascarpone cheese mixed with fig-cocoa jam. (Ficoco is one of the best ideas I've ever run across. I might even tie it with apple butter and Nutella.) Thin banana slices on top. Prior to obtaining said magical jam, I was going with raspberry preserves, peanut butter, and cream cheese on a toasted bagel with thin banana slices, which was plenty good as well.

Locally-grown organic tomatoes that had actually been ripened on the vine, cut into thick slices (some of which were eaten raw because those things were just too juicy and delicious to let pass). Big handful of fresh basil leaves from a local farm pureed into olive oil. Local artisan mozzarella cheese. Layer and let the flavors seep into each other for several hours. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. I consumed 3 tomatoes and a fist-sized cheese along with enough basil to make it difficult to hold the leaves in two hands as I carried it out to the blender. This is a LOT of food. It was good. My first true summer meal of 2009.

Some of that basil-cheese-tomato gorgeousness was served between toasted English muffin, some of it was perched atop a spicy burger flecked with peppercorns and pecorino and fried in butter on a cast-iron skillet. When all the tomatoes and cheese were gone, there was still a rich green juice, fragrant from the basil, sweet and tart from the tomatoes, with a faint cheesy tang... I poured it into a barley stew and the resultant subtle layering of those flavors over the curried vegetables in the stew had me pausing to grin between spoonfuls.

Speaking of cast-iron skillets, frying two eggs in garlicky olive oil and then bubbling them on top of a spicy spinach-lentil dal makes for a lovely breakfast mash, particularly when pre-gamed with a massive bowl of honey cereal flakes topped with yogurt and apple butter (because you're too impatient to wait for everything to finish cooking before you eat).

At some point soon, I should bake bread again.