summer “lite” . . .

by mulberryshoots

pea soup 1

Did you know that today (Friday, July 25, 2014) is supposed to be one of the “top ten most beautiful days of the summer?” When I heard that on the weather report last night before going to bed, I wondered to myself how they knew what other days (and how many?) might be coming along until September 22nd when Fall officially begins? Never mind, I thought, it’ll be nice just to know today is special, weather-wise that is.

peas and asparagus 1So, to take advantage of this sunny, dry, cool but warm day, I thought I’d use up the bag of shelled fresh peas that I’ve been saving in the fridge and make an asparagus-pea soup to have for supper tonight. I’ve also been wanting to make a zucchini bread ever since I stopped at the farmstand yesterday and they were sold out of zucchini bread although loaves of banana-nut and cranberry-nut breads were lined up in neat rows.

The last time I made a zucchini bread was a few years ago when we had a bunch of pianists over to play works in progress for each other. One of them, a twenty-something youth with acne on his face, ignored our protocol not to show off, and then tried to make up for his immodesty by complimenting me on how good the zucchini bread was. I’ve chatted with another pianist recently about the baffling phenomenon that pianists can’t seem to play for each other without becoming competitive. But that’s a post that I will hopefully avoid writing about.

zucchini bread 1In any case, music and cooking sometimes go well together and today, since it’s such a fine day, I might play some Bach and work on a Beethoven Rondo that Paul Lewis, an English pianist, has recorded. This afternoon, I’ll make the soup and let it chill. And if I have enough zucchini, I’ll bake a couple of loaves of zucchini bread–some to have with the soup for supper and some to give away next door to G.’s family and downstairs for our medical student before he goes away for the weekend. I like to make recipes that are classic, and zucchini bread 2while I’ve bought a couple of non-gluten flours and xanthum gum, I think I’ll use half regular flour and half blue cornmeal flour for the zucchini bread.

I’ve been thinking about keeping things simple and staying close to home in terms of what I’m thinking about these days. That is, to get the hardware removed from my ankle, a screw that goes through my tibia and fibula next week in outpatient surgery. I hope the bone/ankle will heal enough so that I can bear weight on it before going on a trip to Puget Sound in early September.

So, our summer meals are less fussy these days: last night, we had bean soup and BLT’s on cracked wheat bread that I brought back from a bakery in Concord. There’s nothing better than a ripe tomato, fresh lettuce leaves, bacon and this bread. Tonight, we’ll have cream of asparagus-pea soup and zucchini bread. This weekend, I might make fresh corn crepes to go with something on the grill.

So summer “lite” is here for awhile: less heavy meals, reading for fun and maybe even some serious goofing off (whatever that might happen to be.)