06 June 2008
Friends, it is HOT here in the NC. 97 degrees today - for the rest of the world, that's about 36 degrees Celsius. Yowza. But unlike the complaining weatherpeople and newspersons on the TV, I don't mind a bit. I come from the Pacific Northwest where June is truly the cruelest month. June - it sounds so summery doesn't it? But instead, June usually found me wearing sweaters and knee socks and wishing for blue skies, bitterly resenting those across the country who complained of being hot. So I'm not complaining - I'm coping. Here's how: ceiling fans in every room, a gentle boost of AC at night for a good sleep, shady porches, tank tops, and of course, food.
Meals have been as simple as a juicy tomato, sliced, sprinkled with basil and salt. A bowl of cold zucchini soup swirled with yogurt. A leftover slice of Spanish potato tortilla. And two mainstays: the Perpetual Pickle and Sun Tea.
The CSA delivery the last several weeks have included fistfuls of chubby little pickling cucumbers. I've been known to can my own bread and butter pickles, dills and chow chow but it's too hot to think about dragging the canner down from the attic. So enter the Perpetual Pickle. The dressing is based off of The Gourmet Cookbook's Quick Dilled Cucumber Pickles, just messing around with it a little:
2 tsp good salt
1/2 C cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 C sugar
2 tsp horseradish, the jarred kind - trust me, it provides the little kick this needs.
Mustard seeds - tbsp or so
Fresh dill, liberally snipped. If your dill is still in seedling state, like mine, dried works well too.
I mix it all in a medium Pyrex bowl and as my little cucumbers arrive, wash and slice them into the bowl with the dressing and pop them in the fridge. As we nibble away at them - they're better the longer they soak - I just slice more cucumbers in. When the dressing gets a little low, I refresh it. Fresh, cold pickles always on hand. I received some turnips in this weeks delivery and I'm going to try pickling them and adding them to a cold noodle salad. I'll let you know how it turns out.
I've also been drinking gallons of sweet tea, that Southern mainstay. Here's me on the porch brewing a pot of sun tea - 4 Luziane tea bags to the quart and a few hours in the sun and heat - with some simple syrup to add in.
Now excuse me, I'm going to go fan myself.