WIAW 174 – Summer Winds Down…
Now we’re in the weird part of summer. Late August can be the hottest time of year, but some years the cooler weather starts now. We’re just starting now to get serious amounts of “Summer Produce” – cukes, summer squash, eggplant, and tomatoes finally turn up every week – but we also have our first leeks and pears… In much of the country (not New York or New Jersey) school is already starting.
A hot New York August is HOT. Sure, it may just be in the 90s, and we may have had the same temperature in July or even June, but by August the brick and pavement have absorbed the heat and reflect it back. When New Yorkers talk about the dog days of summer, we mean August. This was the time my family fled the city for my grandmother’s up in the hill country near Syracuse – my summer job was over and the heat was becoming unbearable… It is also, by the way, one reason we have not changed our school year in keeping with much of the rest of the country. Most of our school buildings are old and have no air conditioning – we can’t ask children to try to learn in brick ovens! They’re still tolerable in June.
And then, every once in a while we have a year like this, when the cool weather starts early. We had the air conditioner off almost all last week, with weather in the 70s… I don’t do well with heat, so I love it, while those spending a week at the shore freeze!
Personally, I’m doing an experiment. I have believed, since I went off gluten, that I cross reacted to oats, because I reacted to oatmeal in the house more than I did to wheat cereal! But I had never actually tried certified gluten free oats, because, well, the idea of eating something that I thought would hurt me (even in the interest of Science! and a broader diet) did not appeal. I’ve hit a point, though, where I really want to clarify that – so I got my gluten free oats, and ate them with trepidation, and… I do not appear to be getting symptoms. Huh. So I’m going to be careful with this, but if I can eat oatmeal once in a while (and be safe around someone eating Cheerios – the potential situation that triggered the experiment) it will make my life easier. I don’t know if it is possible to stop cross-reacting (not much is known about that phenomenon) or if I just leapt to an incorrect conclusion – or, for that matter, if I’ll react down the road… but here I am.
So breakfast was, in fact, a variation of Muesli/Overnight Oats. I soaked oatmeal in (probably too much) kefir – about half an hour, not overnight, and added peaches. Reaffirmed that this is not my favorite way to eat oatmeal… LOL (It is the way Rich likes it, so I got rolled oats, rather than the steel cut I prefer, so he can finish it…) Oh, well – peaches! I enjoyed that part.
For lunch I add salad. I have a wider variety of vegetables (and need to cut up some of the cauliflower and broccoli!) But zucchini got in there… and scallions as big as my thumb, along with the usual chick peas and chicken. And commercial blue cheese dressing. I love blue cheese, Rich is allergic to it, I don’t eat it often (though it’s not an issue for him if I do) but every once in a while…
At dinner time I suddenly realized that I had three ears of corn that had been put aside because of last week’s Dental Adventures – and that really needed to be eaten! So corn and some pork chops I’d cooked (and more corn… ) and rice.
And, well… this week. This is a food blog, and I don’t make political statements (well – other than discussion of our immigrant food heritage and an awareness of people doing the work that brings food to us. The idea that this can be considered political still boggles my mind…)
But my grandmother (not the one near Syracuse) told me about the Klan trying to intimidate my family and drive us out of the town where my great grandfather was born – which was nothing compared to what many other Americans suffered at their hands. And the Nazis would have tried to kill Rich’s family if they had still been in Europe. (They did kill family members of others close to me.) And so, anyone who marches under those banners, or chooses to support or ally with those who do, is telling me they support those who would attack, even kill, me and mine. Because we exist.
I hope that none of my readers feel that way about me… (or about anyone else! But this is personal.)