There is nothing that inhibits my creativity more than the heat. I don't mean 90 degrees with low humidity, which is sometimes possible during the summer where I live in Central California. We were gone for the last half of June, and that was basically the kind of weather that they had while we were gone, but the day after we got home from vacation, the temperatures starting climbing. I'm talking about stifling heat. For the last week, it's been well into the 100s. To add to my discontent, I've been doing my two-week stint of high school summer school from 7:00 A.M. until 1:00 everyday. It's not a bad gig at all, and the kids are cute, for the most part, but it's still work. I'm dreading the upcoming week even more because I'll teach the last three weeks of the college class I split with my friend, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday too. Whine, whine, whine! It won't be that bad. Still, I much prefer having absolutely nothing to do!
I have manged to muster enough energy in the afternoons, after a two-hour nap each day, of course, to work on some socks that I started while we were in Nebraska. I've knit these socks before. They're Friday Harbor Socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road.
Interweave Press, which people rightfully complained was nothing more than a highlighted version of the original pattern. Basically, the problem is that the chart doesn't reflect the changes at the beginning of the rows because of the yarn overs. It's still very doable, but you have to be careful.
Another thing that bums me out about heat waves is that I can't bake bread or anything else really. The house just heats up too much. I can cook on the stove though. We're very happy to have found a nice, little farmer's market in Bakersfield with tons of produce. It's not the coast, but it's also only 30 minutes away instead of two hours! Last week we bought some wonderful vegetables, including a nice head of cauliflower, which I promptly turned into "Chilled Marinated Cauliflower," a recipe from my favorite, old, ratty Enchanted Broccoli Forest, cookbook. Everyone devours this as soon as it's finished, but I'll bet it would be even better after a day or so.
Chilled Marinated Cauliflower
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 medium cauliflower, broken into bite-sized flowettes
Bring these ingredients to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes (until cauliflower is tender) Transfer to a serving bowl and chill.
Just before serving add:
1/2 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced (I sometimes use basil or cilantro.)
2-3 basil leaves, minced
1 carrot, coursely-grated