Sunday, August 22, 2010

This and This and This

For the last few days I've been asking myself, what did you do this summer? Because for me, in a weird way, summer really only started on July 31, the day that Robb and I returned from our honeymoon. All of the time before that was spent in a strange nether-daze called "holy %&*@, I'm getting married!" where you are aware that the sun is shining and barbecues are happening, but all you are REALLY doing is thinking about your wedding budget or if you remembered to remind your mom to order the white citronella candles, NOT the yellow ones, and that they must be votives not tea lights.

And so, now that we're back and enjoying this latter half of post-wedding summer, I flipped through my photos and wanted to do a show-and-tell. Starting with this lovely photo of corn off the cob that I roasted half to death until it was charred and sweet and perfect for salsa. This, by the way, is what you do when you buy 15 ears of corn for a barbecue and forget to cook them. You save them and make roasted corn salsa and roasted corn guacamole for the barbecue that someone else is throwing the following weekend. Here's the tomato we used to tie the salsa together. Just one tomato = a giant vat of salsa (to use a technical term, of course).

And here it is sliced up all pretty like. Almost like a nectarine, no?

The same day we baked some Moroccan flatbread, which starts out as three packets of dry yeast in one cup of water. A science experiment no doubt.

After mixing it up with bread flour, cumin, coriander, and mashed up chickpeas, the bread is baked right on the oven rack at 450 degrees. They come out hot and chewy and looking oddly look like giant chocolate chip cookies. Jamie Oliver tells me in his recipe that you can cook these suckers right on a barbecue grill. This is officially on my "before summer is over" to-do list.

As explored in a previous post, we discovered the giantest cucumber I ever did see. Though what I didn't tell you was that we took it to Robb's bar whereupon most of the clientele posed with the cucumber photo-booth style.

Then Robb cut it up for the bar to share, dipped in none other than a big bowl of skanky ranch dressing. We only made it through half of the cucumber. Rumor has it that one of Robb's friends took the remaining half home to "scare his girlfriend." I have refrained from asking any other questions about what he meant by that.

Robb's peppers have played an integral role in our summer cooking, which I like to think of as our "spicy season." Here we've diced up some mild tangerine dream peppers with some hot salsa delights.

And then cooked them down with tomatoes from the garden and black beans to make a super killer pot of chili. Note to self: cut the cherry tomatoes in half before putting them in the pot (otherwise they become little flavorless heat bombs.)

And since I've been back at work, I've been editing a book that covers all possible areas of DIY life, from crafts to cooking to starting your own business to beauty. So it is no surprise that while editing the beauty chapter, I became very inspired by how to do a DIY bouffant. Here is my first stab at one, attempted without a rat (a piece of phoney hair used to make the "bump" at the crown of the head) or any hairspray. I think my attempt looks more like a hair hat comb-over than a bouffant.

But it's only my first try. Expect to see more and bigger bouffants from here through the end of summer. I just think they look so nice with summer dresses!

Very importantly, we finally made it to Coney Island. How can a whole Brooklyn summer pass without at least one Saturday spent at Coney?

And, as we all know, no trip to Coney is complete without wasting away a few hours at Beer Island. For those who've never been, Beer Island is basically a parking lot filled with sand where one can go buy beer. They also have a pretty killer jukebox. (And as we also know, no trip to Beer Island is complete without somebody getting pushed out of their chair and falling into the sand.)

Slowly but surely I'm finding things to do with the oodles of glorious fabric left over from our wedding. What on earth will this become? We'll find out, now won't we...

Soon enough I'll pick up my knitting needles to finish the not one but three projects I currently have going. Let's see if I'll be able to remember which row I left off on in the various stitch patterns.

As for tonight? I do believe I'm going to take a stab at this kneadless bread recipe that my coworker Dervla swears by:
(She says her parents make something like two loaves of this a day, which leads me to believe that it is pretty tasty.)

And I'd also like to go camping. And play croquet in the park. And bake a pie. And go to Playland. THEN, I will have officially had a full summer.

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