Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The color of my eyes

My eyes had many colors yesterday:  the first day of first grade for my little boy, who will soon be seven and isn't so little any more. My eyes woke up gray, fogged with drowsiness, then quickly changed to green, because it was time to get up and go. A little bit of silver and gold flew in to express my excitement about the big day. While walking to class (we only get to do this on the first day, so I treasure it!), my eyes turned blue when my son announced he didn't need to hold my hand. I reached for it, but was told "that's OK mommy, I'll just hold my backpack."  Ouch. Even though some good friends did a great job of keeping me busy most of the day, my eyes were brown, non-expressive and stagnant. After school, bright yellow as I waited to pick him up, anxious to see his eyes, which would tell me a lot about his day.

My eyes are hazel again, the color they've always been, as we made it through a big day and all in all, it was pretty good.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Your wife is hot, so it's cold soup for you!

There is only a small window of time in which I don't really dig living in Texas. That time is right now, and the reason is the weather. Once the end of July rolls us into August, the heat turns up to high. It becomes smokin' HOT. No rain, no cool breeze.  The pool is hot, the Gulf of Mexico is hot, everywhere and everything is HOT. Even the water that comes out of the hose is hot.

About this time, I start to think about becoming a nudist I begin to give my kitchen the evil eye for even considering that I might try to cook something for dinner. Right now, it's all about not cooking. Great White Hunter has had to live with lots of salads and sandwiches lately, and I can't believe he didn't gripe about the cold soup last night.  Most people think gazpacho when they think of cold soup, or maybe vichyssoise, but I was thinking cucumbers. Probably because our garden spits out about 3 a day, and I'm running out of ways to serve them. So, in addition to some pretty tasty submarine sandwiches (watchout all you Subway sandwich artists...) I served this:
Cold cucumber mint soup
A favorite old recipe from Martha, I used to make this all time but have forgotten how good it is. And so easy! The key is getting the right amount of salt and pepper to truly bring out the cucumber and mint flavors. Here's the recipe if you'd like to give it a whirl (in your blender, of course :-) And you can click here for a listing of about 40 other cold soup recipes. Who knew there were so many!

4 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 small or 1/2 large clove garlic
1 cup plain yogurt, low-fat if desired (I used Fage Greek Yogurt, ridiculously thick and so good)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/4 cup water
4 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.  Cut 1 cucumber into small dice, and set aside for garnish. Cut others into large chunks. Combine cucumber chunks, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, and water in a blender, and puree until smooth.

2.  Add scallions and mint leaves, reserving some of the mint for garnish, and puree briefly. Season with salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice if a tarter flavor is desired.

3.  Chill until ready to serve. Stir well before serving, and ladle into bowls or mugs, garnishing each serving with a big spoonful of diced cucumber and a sprig of mint.