Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cruel Summer

Today is the first day since Monday that I have not felt the need to take a minimum of two showers and I haven't sprayed myself with my spray bottle of water once.  While it was so hot, it was difficult to find anything to eat in my house that didn't require a heat producing appliance.  Finally, I made it to the store and replenished my supply of cool foods.  Weather this hot and humid calls for gazpacho and I use a recipe given to me by an Andalusian woman that I lived with in Seville.

Gloria gave me her recipes from memory, so there really aren't any exact measurements.  I just listened to her, watched her, and tasted the food, so I'll give you the measurements that I use.

10 medium tomatoes (I peeled and seeded them)
1 c. chopped cucumber with the seeds removed
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. chopped shallot
1/2 c. white bread (no crust)
You can also use some bell pepper, but raw bell peppers are not my friends, so I leave them out.
Salt and pepper to taste
A splash of red wine vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil

I put everything in my blender (you can do this in batches if you prefer) and blend it until it is smooth.  I am not a fan of chunky gazpacho and the bread helps to thicken and smooth it--this tasted so good with a little bread spread with Boursin.  Simple, light, flavorful--this is one of those dishes that isn't complicated and shouldn't be made to be complicated.

After waiting all day for the promised rain, we finally got a break last night.  Here is the creek by Friday afternoon (after four days of temperatures over 100 degrees):

The sky got dark, the clouds rolled in, and we could hardly wait for the rain to begin:

As the house began to cool down, I was finally able to do all of the cleaning that I hadn't been able to do all week.  Who wants to use a Shark when it is that hot and humid?  I was able to clean most of the house in a few hours, except for the outside, which I saved for Saturday morning.

It was supposed to rain all night and into this morning, but it stopped during the night.  We woke up to temperatures in the 70s and light breezes and I was finally able to wash the car and clean the porches.

Today, the creek is a little more full:

I'm so glad the hot and humid weather is over for a while and so is McKenna.  The poor thing got so overheated the other night that she woke up at 3 a.m. and drank three Dixie cups of water.  I put a wet washcloth on her, which I thought she would pull off, but the next thing I knew, she was snoring.

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