Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hot Night, Cold Pasta, Lukewarm About Cycling

I had hoped to return from Maine completely revitalized, my mind racing with new culinary inspirations that I could immediately put into action. Instead what I returned to was this:

Yesterday, with temperatures in the 100's it was difficult to do much of anything other than sit, nearly naked, under an air conditioner which was groaning to keep the room just below 80 degrees. Since the air conditioner in my car died even this small reprieve was a welcome moment in the day. I spent much of that sweat-soaked car ride home wondering if there was anything I could make for dinner that would be cold. If it hadn't been for the 24 hour freezing time for my ice cream maker's base I may have attempted a savory version for dinner.

Instead I picked up a few things and made cool(ish) tacos. I marinated some chicken in lime, olive oil, chili powder, hot sauce, paprika, cumin, and salt and quickly cooked it on the stove top (allowing it to cool) and tossed some black beans in similar spices. Along with a generous helping of kale this helped usher in a welcome home, a low temperature dinner, and a return to slightly more virtuous eating after a week of fatty excess on vacation.

I then threw that all out the window by polishing off the rest of Jen's birthday cake. Jen was much more disciplined and had some yogurt.

Whilst in Maine Jen was astonished by the low price on blueberries so we purchased an insane amount of blueberries. Eight pounds to be exact. Therefore I felt it would be a good idea to supplement the cake with a giant helping of blueberries. The antioxidants neutralize the fat in buttercream right?

Jen's real reason for purchasing the blueberries was simply to take advantage of the deal. The made up reason was that she was going to make a tremendous amount of blueberry jam. To support this she purchased 24 Ball® jars and asked my mother to borrow this book from 1975 about how to preserve food. It contains vast sections of text explaining hot to jar meats, how to build a root cellar by burying old barrels under some snow, and about how if you don't do everything exactly as they say you will definitely die from botulism.

These facts are why I am now eating giant handfuls of blueberries three times a day.

Tonight it was cooler. Six degrees cooler. With little to no inspiration to be in the heat or to cook (or eat for that matter) I decided to make a pasta salad with some of the items from the fridge. So lazy was I that I did the unthinkable: I used a bottle of salad dressing! That's right. I happened to have this salad dressing that I got as a free sample a few months ago. Along with some rendered bacon, olive oil, tomato, mozzarella, and basil it made a cool and refreshing dinner for tonight.

Just for the record I was not too happy with the result. That will teach me to use bottled salad dressing. I generally don't care for it and tonight did not convince me of any error in my ways.

For Jen's birthday my parents got her a home soda maker. I've never seen an adult so excited about any present in history. At least not since I gave Jen an assortment of 50 varieties of Jelly Belly jelly beans a few months ago. Since getting it she's been hard at work brewing up soda creations and leaving a set of bottled experiments in the fridge and emptied bottles strewn about the living room.

While Jen enjoyed some grapefruit soday I had one of the Summer Ales from Geary's Brewing Co. that we brought back from Maine. I ordered this at a restaurant in Maine and suspected that they brought me the wrong beer until I tasted it again tonight and realized that they probably did not. Sorry, random server in Maine! I guess I am no Michael Jackson. The beer Michael Jackson, not the Pepsi Michael Jackson. My dance moves are impeccable.

Now, with the heat upon us, we settle in to watch the Tour de France as we always do. This means a month of trying our best to avoid news, Twitter, and anything else that may spoil the day's race for us so we can watch it over dinner. You'd think it would be easier given America's complete indifference toward the sport.

So with that I'll leave you with this video of Jens Voigt joking about another cyclist getting attacked by a bear.

Bon Soir!

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