Streams

Melissa Clark on Summer Parties; "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer"; Cotton Tenants

« previous episode | next episode »

Thursday, June 06, 2013

New York Times Dining section columnist Melissa Clark shares ideas about what to make for parties and picnics that can stand up to the summer heat. Then we’ll talk to the directors of a new documentary about Pussy Riot, the Russian group whose members were arrested and jailed for performing in a cathedral. We’ll find out about a re-discovered article by James Agee and photographer Walker Evans that was the basis of their celebrated book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

Melissa Clark on Preparing Summer Parties

Ask questions or share your suggestions for what to make for summer parties!

Comments [23]

“Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer”

Directors Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin discuss their documentary “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.” It tells the story of Nadia, Masha, and Katia, members of the feminist art collective who were arrested and charged with religious hatred after they performed a 40 second "punk prayer" inside Russia's main cathedral.

Comments [3]

Cotton Tenants: Three Families by James Agee and Walker Evans

Novelist Adam Haslett and John Summers, editior-in-chief of The Baffler, talk about a re-discovered masterpiece of reporting by James Agee and celebrated photographer Walker Evans, Cotton Tenants: Three Families. In 1941, James Agee and Walker Evans published Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, about three tenant farming families in Hale County, Alabama, at the height of the Great Depression. They originally traveled there on assignment for Fortune magazine in 1936, but a story that was never published. Fifty years after Agee’s death, his report “Cotton Tenants” was discovered. Published for the first time, it includes 30 of Walker Evans’s historic photos.

Comment

The AR-15 Rifle: The Gun Congress Can't Ban

The AR-15—the type of semi-automatic gun used in the shootings in Aurora and Sandy Hook—is the most popular rifle in America. Harper’s contributor Dan Baum talks about why the AR-15’s “modularity” makes the gun incredibly difficult to regulate. His article "How to Build Your Own AR-15: The Gun Congress Can’t Ban" is in the June issue of Harper’s. Baum is also the author of the book Gun Guys: A Road Trip.

Comments [34]

Recipe: Melissa Clark's Cantaloupe and Yogurt Soup with Toasted Cumin Salt

I came up with this cool, refreshing soup on one of the sweatiest, stickiest, steamiest lunchtimes of summer. It was the kind of day when, despite our valiant air-conditioner’s best efforts, it was just too darn hot to do anything at all, let alone chew. Whatever I had for lunch would have to be blended into liquid submission, and my first thought was to make an icy smoothie filled with all of the gorgeous fruit I’d been carting home from the farmers’ market.

Oddly for me though, I didn’t feel like my usual honeyed ice-yogurt-fruit mix. I was having a rare savory craving, and I wanted something potato chip-salty, in sip-able form.

I briefly contemplated gazpacho. The spicy flavors seemed right, but all that vegetable peeling and chopping was just too much work.

Then I remembered another savory blender creation, a bracing Indian yogurt drink called a lassi that I absolutely love in Indian restaurants and never think to make at home. Consisting of little more than yogurt, salt, ice and sometimes lemon juice and/or cumin, it was salty, fresh tasting, filling, and extremely easy. And perfect for a summer lunch.

I whirled one together in the blender and took a taste. It was certainly zippy enough to quell my cravings, but it still needed something. Maybe it was my smoothie associations pulling hard, but it seemed to me that it could use something sweet to balance out the yogurt tanginess. I poked around in the fridge and unearthed a bowl of cut up cantaloupe that I keep around for summer snacking, and half a jalapeno left over from some recent guacamole-making, and I threw them both in the blender bowl, figuring I might as well hit a range of sweet, tart, salty, spicy flavors.

I poured it into my smoothie glass and took a sip. It was icy, earthy from the cumin, fruity, and very creamy, with a mild bite from the pepper. It was far too heady and complex to sip through a straw, so I moved it to a bowl and took up a spoon. As I swallowed it up, luxuriating in a range of nuances that tasted like so much more than the 10 minutes it took to throw together, I fantasized about serving it at my next summer dinner party as a first course, maybe fancied up in my prettiest glass bowls to show off the melon color, topped with some crunchy cumin salt.

I suppose I could have even done the same thing for lunch. Except the blender was empty and my belly was full. Happily, there were many weeks of summer left, which meant many, sticky, sweaty days, and the good liquid food that went with them.

Comment

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.