Summer has arrived in Rhode Island, shoving her weight around with a thumbless grip. In other words: it’s freaking HOT. It shames me, having grown up in Texas, that I now crumple when the temperature hits 90, but what can I say? The truth ain’t pretty.
And, although it is thoroughly inadvisable (and even downright insane) to turn on the oven in this heat, I’ve done it. Several times. Each time, I questioned my own soundness of mind, but the contents of the box often demanded the craziness.
Here’s what came in the latest box:
And here’s what I did:
I excavated some homemade garlic and herb sausage from the freezer and paired it with the slow-caramelized fennel and onions into chubby calzones. I used some of my sourdough starter in the dough, and achieved an impressive rise. I should probably mention that The Unit deemed these decidedly mediocre, and I can’t really fault him for that estimation. The ratio of filling to dough leaned decidedly toward the carb-y side.
The green beans and broccoli I lightly blanched and then bathed with the lip-smacking dressing of miso, tahini, lemon, garlic, and olive oil that I seem to eat on everything these days. Pecans added crunch and Rancho Gordo’s delightful yellow eye peas added heft. These went to my gym family for post-workout snacks.
And I whizzed the blueberries with some buttermilk, sugar, and Greek yogurt and plopped it all in the ice cream maker. I also juiced a watermelon to make a girly pink watermelon sherbet to play yin to the blueberry’s blue yang.
All in all, not a tremendous amount of creativity this time around.
You know what is creative (and cool, BTW), though? The Chvrches album that came out last fall, that’s what. I have my musical Yoda, James Uden, to thank for for upping my coolness factor logarithmically by introducing me to this album in 2015 and reminding me of it recently by including this track, “Leave a Trace,” on his 2016 “Best Of” compilation, of which I was a lucky recipient. (You will likely see more of James’s choices in the coming weeks as I am FULL OF his compilation CD the past few weeks.)
The most liberating aspect of this song to me is the indifference of lead singer Lauren Mayberry toward her scheming ex. “Take care to bury all that you can / Take care to leave a trace of a man,” she lilts, as if she knows he will try to continue the drama long after she has declared the end. “You talk far too much / For someone so unkind,” she says.
The song is rife with grey area, too; the sum of blame in a dying relationship always seems greater than the romantic value of the relationship itself. Emotional physics, I guess.
“I know/ I need/ To feel/ Relief,” she gasps, proclaiming that a BS-free life far eclipses the fleeting satisfaction of being right or wrong.
Happy summer, y’all.