(I know, kinda crappy photo. I’ll give you some nice waves at the end of the post to make up for it.)
I started with cucumber gazpacho in mind, but my recipe wanted lemon & I only had lime. Well, lime is friends with melon, & gazpacho is friends with cilantro & pepper, so…
Fill your blender jar with an assortment of peeled, seeded cucumbers, cut into chunks. I like to get a bunch of different kinds of cukes from different stands at the farmers market, but you could keep it simple & just use one kind.
Then pour in:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
Blend so the level goes down.
Lime juice; start with half a lime. You may want to add more later.
A very small, very mild pepper. By very small I mean not much bigger than a finger.
Couple sprigs of cilantro
Small pinch of cayenne
Salt & pepper
Melon, a couple of big scoops (with a regular soup spoon or tablespoon). I tried this with an Eel River melon from Full Belly & also with an Ambrosia melon; I suspect almost any melon would work. Will try Galia next.
(optional) Small clove garlic
Blend again, taste, & adjust as necessary. You are aiming for a balance of flavors that tastes good to you; it will not be great yet, until you give it several hours—preferably a whole day—in the fridge. See if you can detect just a little hint of the melon; it should not be a sweet soup. Then stick the whole thing in the fridge.
Next day, put it back on the blender & give it another go, just a few seconds, to re-blend anything that separated while it was sitting. Then garnish as you like, or not.
It’s finally really summer!
Sorry to be gone so long. Sometimes I just don’t have much to say. Been doing some hard work pretty much sums it up. Not the kind that pays in dollars (well, there was a wee bit of that), but still I needed a bit of vacation afterward.
Herewith, the Art of the Staycation:
NO computers! We bent this rule only to look up information about Approved Staycation Activities: ferry schedules, concert ticket availability, maps to get to labyrinths, that sort of thing. Remember to turn the computer OFF when you’ve completed your mission, otherwise you’ll find yourself checking email after you get home from the delicious concert. Ask me how I know. Talk about a buzzkill.
Set specific starting & ending times for the staycation. We said ours would start at 7pm on Monday night. Ring a bell & leave the house to go out to dinner!
When you come back from dinner, walk around the house saying things like:
“Look at the nice place we’re staying!”
“I’m so glad I brought ALL of our books!”
“Hey, they sure have a nicely stocked kitchen for us!”
“Isn’t this bed comfy?”
In other words, really work the fantasy. If you are a couple & have usual sides of the bed you each sleep on, switch sides!
Themes are helpful. Our theme was labyrinths.
If you go, note that they have changed things a little bit in the preserve & the labyrinth is now at marker #2, not #4.
Use alternate modes of transportation—all the less-efficient, more-expensive ways of getting about that you wouldn’t use in your normal life. We took the ferry & cable car(!) to get to the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral, stopping for some clam chowder & oysters on the way.
I didn’t get a photo of the labyrinth. When we were done walking it, we realized that we had like 10 minutes to make the last ferry, so in true staycation spirit, we grabbed a cab(!) & made it to the dock with just a minute to spare. It was dusk & the full moon was rising as we crossed the bay. (Sorry no moon photos. You had to be there.)
Next day, the labyrinth with the spectacular view at Land’s End...
... followed by The Infamous Stringdusters. Deep Elem Blues! Those boys tore it up. I want to see them again.
So decadent! Yet all still incredibly cheap compared to flying (or even driving) someplace where you have to pay for a room. I highly recommend it. Bay Area folks, there’s a reason why all those people come here from all over the dang world for their vacations! Go out & enjoy it!
What a weekend! I hope you got outside (if you’re in the Bay Area). Time to come out of hibernation.
Remember Irene? My pal who famously played sidekick for me in Wisconsin? She’s over there in the sidebar. Over there >>>
One of Irene’s many many talents is always finding the coolest shit going on anywhere, & the latest thing she’s turned me on to is the Crochet Coral Reef, which is blowing my mind with its crafty-geeky hyperbolic fabulosity.
As it happens, I was calling her to cancel our plans for tonight because, well, I fought the cold & the cold won. I was resigned to schlumping around the house all bored, but now I think I’ll crochet some coral instead! Thank you Irene!
I had a great weekend. We went to the beach, where there were all these teeny little jellies that looked like perfect glass marbles. They were all washed up along the surf line & dusted with a fine layer of sand that made them hard to see until the lip of a wave washed them clean. Then they would roll optimistically down the beach toward the water until the wind covered them with another layer of sand, which stopped them from rolling. The ocean reclaimed them a few at a time, in a slow process of lapping & washing, waiting & rolling.
Unfortunately, the same wind that blew sand onto the jellies also blew something in my eye, which got all puffy & goopy with a pesky eye infection. Disgusting!
This is not coffee, it’s powdered eyebright in a coffee filter. Apparently, the whole herb is no longer allowed in the state because it’s an invasive weed, so you can only get it in powdered form.
I am now doing Everything With Eyebright. After pouring boiling water over a spoonful of the powder in the coffee filter, I drape a dishtowel over my head & steam my eyeball over the whole assemblage while the infusion drips. Once it’s all gone through the filter, I pour some on a face towel & hold it over my eye as a compress. Then I drink a cup of it. Finally, when it’s cool enough, I dip a cotton ball in it & squeeze it into my eye. Is there any application method I haven’t thought of? Anyway, it seems to be helping. I’m trying not to fall into any stupid narratives about paying for a good time. Instead, rolling around in my head the enjoyable idea of how those jellyfish were so eyeball-like.