Since you asked:

"Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp, to guard a title that was rich before, to gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess."

~William Shakespeare,
ca. 1595

Yup, that's us.

July 14, 2008

Summer Lights...

I love the pale colors of summer...crisp linens, cool silks, all the neutrals that I find so lovely. I have always pined after those Edwardian looks of long sheaths of pale ivory from head to toe, hat to shoes. It is such a refined appearance; one can hardly imagine perspiring, but I am sure they did, probably just with more forbearance than I can muster!

I, alas, have no such aplomb. I sit damp and dripping in the summer's heat, and my own personal hellish menopausal season. I am doing better though at just toughing it out, and ignoring it. Dress lightly, and carry a big fan. My lovely little friend below looks calm and unperturbed, as though she has never had a hot flash in her life. And even though she is trapped in the bottom of a teacup, she has led a sheltered life with me. I could never bring myself to use this cup and saucer; the thought of pouring boiling water over her little head seemed so uncivilised.

I worked on our deck again yesterday, and the heat was bearable as I re-potted some herbs into the little wrought iron stand where they will grow in tiers: parsley, of which we can never have enough, all around the bottom; cilantro, running a close second, in the middle; and around the top two pots with sage and mint, and one waiting to be filled with tarragon. I have recently landed on a recipe for a wonderful side to steamed artichokes, which requires lots of tarragon, so I am determined to find some and cheer it on.

Lemon Tarragon Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup finely chopped tarragon

You'll find that even if you do not have the specific amounts on hand, it doesn't really matter, it just all tastes so darned good! Add fresh cracked pepper if you like, I usually do. And my secret for fast artichokes? The pressure cooker does them in 10 minutes, which always works better for me than 45 in the steamer. Saw off the stem and top with a good sharp knife, and clip all the leaf tips with your kitchen shears; the chokes will open up easier for cooking and no one will end up with a thorn in their thumb as they dive into these. Bon appetit!


KaReN EiLeeN said...

Love the artichoke idea. Who can steam for 45 minutes in this heat? I miss coming by your little shop of delights. I am knee-deep in summer league basketball with my youngest....but I will be by soon. I need inspiration for my new hats!


Sherry Goodloe said...

I love that Singer fan in the photo :-)

wendyhumphreys said...

What a wonderful gift your mother
has given you with the buttons and
her words on the back to record
a tiny bit of your history. I'm
loving that!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

I'm coming with KarenEileen too!:)

I think those Edwardian and Victorian ladies went "to sea" for the hot and steamy summer months. NO aplomb here, either. Just hot and sticky. And the minute I put on a "white" I either wrinkle or spill. sigh.
xo Lidy