It already feels like one of those summers we’ll be telling our grandchildren about. Though if global warming doesn’t pull any punches in the years ahead, we may be telling them how balmy and mild the summer of ’15 was, back when the Skagit ran all the way to the sea, like so many old rivers of yore.
Without the benefit of fifty years between us and now, though, it feels hot. And dry. Hot and dry and everything is running at least a month ahead of schedule. We have barley ready to combine. Blueberries are going full tilt when normally they wouldn’t be starting until late July. Our friend and neighbor, Kevin Morse has plums turning color that usually don’t come on until late August. The heat units are practically backed up trying to push past each other into ripening fruits and vegetables—not really, they’re actually quite accommodating—at least until the temperature gets much above 30°C for extended periods of time.
However that plays out, in the meantime we can cool (and console!) ourselves with some excellent summer cocktails from the excellent Amy Stuart, perhaps better known as the drunken botanist. Her recipes for blueberry smash and peach and bourbon wonderfulness are just the thing to round the edges of this stiff, uncompromising summer.
If If you’re looking for something a little more…edible, then may I recommend this blueberry-peach salsa from Meghan Telpner
Adapted from meghantelpner.com
· Pulse tomatoes and 1/2 cup of peaches together with lime juice, green onions, cilantro, and mint. You want it slightly blended but still a wee chunky.
· Transfer to mixing bowl and stir in blueberries, remaining 1/2 cup of peaches, chopped kiwi, avocado, sea salt and cayenne.
Hydrate! Irrigate! Repeat!
P.S. This weeks lettuce is part of a new type of lettuces, commonly called single cuts and marketed under the salanova or multileaf trademarks. The major selling point of single cut lettuces is that they have a high leaf count and small, relatively uniform leaves. A single cut a half inch or so above the butt will leave you with a large pile of bite sized leaves. We are trying this variety for the first time this year, and I must admit, so far I am impressed. I find that the outer leaves(darker red portions) have just a little bite, with the center leaves being milder and sweeter and nice and crisp throughout. Being. as we so often are this time of year, rather crunched for time, I appreciate the broader flavor profile. It can really perk up a 5 minute salad.
Speaking of which:
Lauren’s 5 minute salad(10 to 15 if I have to go poach the veggies first)
Wash and prep your lettuce, dump it in a nice big bowl. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, and throw them in as well. Do the same to the cucumber, as well as any other veg you plan to add. Shake a generous sprinkling of sunflower seeds on top(See, protein. Good for busy farmers). Add a dollop of ranch dressing (Be conservative, we aren’t 6 any more) and toss to distribute the dressing evenly. Taste test and add a little more dressing or some pepper if you wish. If you are feeling civilized serve it up and enjoy. If you are tired and dusty, stick a fork in the bowl and eat it at the kitchen counter, then go take a shower.
inveterate vegetable poacher
Well, dear friends, it’s August and I hardly know what to say about that anymore…this is August served neat. No ice, no mixer, no nothing.