Archive for July 19, 2010

Marvelous Melons and Not-So-Glittering Generalizations About Weather

    “Minnesota is either too hot or too cold,” my Florida-craving stepmother once observed.  That phrase in turn inspired her brief rendition of Jimmy Dorsey’s lyrical lament on behalf of the gals (and in regard to the guys) left stateside during World War II:  “They are either too young or too old…Either they’re gray or they’re grassy green…The pickings are poor and the crop is lean.” 

While we do sometimes seem to be hurled abruptly from the deep freeze of winter into the cauldron of summer heat and humidity, weather absolutes of course invite refutation – just as the Dorsey verse must have raised objections among the “gray and grassy green.”  Weather statistics confirm that we did have a smattering of lovely days in the upper 70s just a few weeks ago, for example, although the memory of them melts away pretty quickly from a brain exposed to 90+ degree temps and a wet blanket of air that holds water vapor like a freshly baked loaf of French bread sucks up warm olive oil. 

As I write this, the official readings for the Twin Cities are a temperature of 83° with 58% relative humidity and a dew point (whatever that is) of 65.  I don’t know where these guys take their measurements, but my suburban thermometer reads 90, in the shade – literally. 

But weather-gauging arguments aside, I do know that when I walk every day, year-round, my body doesn’t seem to be jarred by seasonal changes, so perhaps nature does ease us more gently from “hot to cold” than fickle human perceptions apprehend.  And I also know that I am blessed – or cursed – with an appetite that is virtually never diminished by atmospheric conditions.  So into the kitchen I take my shower-refreshed self to drum up something tasty but light, since not everyone is endowed with my steel-hulled constitution. 

I return to basics and assemble a classic favorite, Cobb Salad, and turn to my recipe files to ferret out a version of Honey-Pecan Bran Muffins I came up with a few months ago.  For a final course, some chilled, cubed Canary Melon.  I discovered this lovely, mildy sweet variety just last week, and managed to impress my table mates with the find.

I think, as summer menus go, you could call that a meal.  I like these muffins so much that I eat them without spread, but a schmear of orange juice flavored margarine would be lovely, too.  Tall glasses of brewed iced tea with lemon or lime wedges round out this hot weather lunch or dinner.  Just remember to bake the muffins first thing in the morning.  Even a devoted cook can’t stand the heat and gets out of the kitchen at some point. (more…)

July 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm Leave a comment

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