Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Celebrate Breads

We need to celebrate breads that make your taste buds dance.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sheets of Rain

Today I washed my white sheets and hung them outside in the sun.
Then the skies opened. It was the hardest rainfall I had ever seen.
I went out to see how the clothesline was handling the weight of the wet.
The bed sheets were mud-splattered!
I laughed and tossed them back into the washing machine.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Buried Treasure

A few months ago I decided to defrost all of the unmarked food in my chest freezer. I came across a few things not worth keeping but then I found five containers which turned out to be a soup. I tasted it and it was very good so I saved it and refroze it. I think I originally made it last fall when I vaguely recall a neighbor giving us a boat load of leeks. I had added cubed bits of smoked ham, kale, corn and kidney beans ending up with a vat of soup. We happily rediscovered it this week and it feels like we've unearthed a buried treasure. Each night we defrost another container of soup and enjoy it for supper. I haven't gotten sick of it yet!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cold Feet

Last night my neighbor Philomena told me a great tip for cooling down in the heat. Place your feet in a bucket of ice water. It works really fast!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

French Fry Soup

Yesterday while I was working I thought of taking my last two cups of German potato salad and throwing them it the blender with a few ice cubes and a cup of my cooked chick pea broth to make an impromptu vichyssoise, minus the leeks. So that's exactly what I did, adding salt and freshly ground pepper. This was the right lunch on a hot day.

Later for dinner I ladled some leftover tomato vegetable soup in a bowl and combined it with a cup of the impromptu vichyssoise. I took a taste and said to my husband "This reminds me of something." I took another bite. "It tastes like ketchup on french fries!" I had him taste it and he said "You're right!" It made sense that the thick potato and tomato combo would trigger this taste association. We laughed at the surprise and I named it french fry soup.

Clean Sleep

Last night before going to bed I threw my dirty clothes in the washing machine and turned it on. When I got up this morning I hung the clean damp clothes on the line as my coffee was brewing. It was comforting to start the day with laundry already washed.

I am excited to know that a break in the heat wave is coming!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Quick Cooling

I hope you all are handling the crazy heat okay. I am looking forward to an end to this trend. At sunset, after a day confined to air-conditioning, I took Lily for a long walk. I felt like a prisoner on release!

My latest strategy for quick cooling:
Wet and wring out a dish-towel. Place it in the freezer for ten minutes. Place it on your neck. Ahhhhh. Don't do it too many times in a row or you'll get a stiff neck. But it's great for cooling down in a moment of heat freak out!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Surprise Summer Soup

I never know what I am doing in the kitchen. I think I cook the same way I make a painting. Yesterday the six hot Italian sausages my husband bought were speaking to me while I was working. "You better do something with me or throw me in the freezer." So I put them in the slow cooker and added three cans of pureed tomatoes, I chopped about seven ribs of celery, two large white onions, four carrots and let them simmer thinking "Am I really making spaghetti sauce in a heat wave?" Then, when I opened the fridge the quart of leftover potato stock from Saturday's 'cooked' potato salad spoke to me. "Throw me in!" So I did. The garlic said "Me too, or I'll go bad" So I chopped up a whole bulb of garlic, and added that in too. I also added a splash of red wine. After a few hours of simmering I poured the soup into a metal pot that I submerged in a bucket of cold water for rapid cool down before placing in the fridge. We ate it cold with an ice cube in each bowl. It was delicious and refreshing.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Bill rebuilt our toaster today. We replaced the broken parts from our last toaster which was the same model. Being pack-rats pays off. Now I am baking a gigantic sourdough loaf in the 12" skillet. A house of bread is a house of toast!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Baking Bread in a Heat Wave

I noticed my bread was done baking 5 minutes early during the past two weeks of super hot weather. I asked my husband Mr. Physics how could this be? He said "You're starting with a dough that is already 85 degrees, so it doesn't need to warm up." This makes total sense. It's not as crazy as it seems to bake bread in the summer because the hot oven dries out the humidity in the kitchen. My latest fun is is adding a little bit of coarsely-ground cornmeal to the dough.