You may have heard that it’s been a bit warm the past few days. It’s true. It’s been a bit warm. In fact, it’s been downright hot. As in H-O-T.
Of course, nothing says hot back here better than high temperatures and high humidity. When you hear someone say “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” there is an element of truth to it. Right now, when we walk outside, it’s like entering a primordial swamp. The biggest problem is that I no longer have gills. It would be much easier to breathe if I did.
I remember ridiculously hot 113°+ in Bakersfield as a kid. I don’t remember it feeling this bad. Granted, 50 years can blur a bit of memory, but other than those 2pm-6pm hours when the sun was at its hottest, we spent most of the day outdoors. Sweet youth, indeed.
So we’re living in a cave with air conditioning. Even with the dual-paned windows we installed a few years back, drapes are closed. (That big bow window in front is still single-pane. When we get a spare $15k we’ll think about replacing it.) But keeping everything closed really is helping – the AC isn’t running non-stop.
So cooking just isn’t at the top of my list of things I want to do. Eating is. I don’t think I’ve ever lost my appetite – ever – but cooking and especially grilling are just not going to happen.
Enter the indoor picnic!
I did do a bit of cooking for this but poaching some tuna chunks was the extent of it. Unless you count making toast.
Fresh tuna really does make a great tuna salad. I poached the chunks in white wine, water, garlic, and bay leaves for maybe 10 minutes. Just long enough to cook it through. I then chilled it, shredded it, and mixed it with celery, red onion, pickle, and mayonnaise. Really good.
The rest of the indoor picnic was slice-and-serve. Baguette, Belletoile (a triple cream, bloomy rind cheese made by the French fromagerie Hutin. Both rich and mellow in flavor, Belletoile Triple Cream is a spreadable cheese that is creamy, buttery and luscious.) plus Secchi salume, pepper jack cheese, crackers, toasted rye bread, and fresh figs.
And a beer. (NA, but it quenched the thirst.)
We don’t graze like this often enough. I really do like having a variety of fun foods on the table, but get into that meat-starch-vegetable rut way too often.
Bein’ that this weather isn’t going anywhere soon, I may have to think up a few more picnic ideas. I know those candied cherry tomatoes from the other night would be perfect with a spread like this.
Time to put the thinking cap on…
In the meantime, there’s ice cream for dessert.