Thursday, August 21, 2014

I's a dry heat...

…and yes, I’ll take that over your East Coast humidity – the kind that feels like stepping out of a nice refreshing shower and wrapping yourself in a hot, wet wool blanket or crawling inside a dog.  Still, we’ve had the highest high temps in 5 years and the second hottest July on record. And August has been following suit. My tomatoes are loving it, but I’m wilting. 

I just read some research done on major league baseball pitchers that showed they were more likely to retaliate nastily for their teammates being hit when the temperatures were higher.  In other words, hot weather makes people cranky, so you climate change deny-ers are going to be double pissed-off when it turns out you were wrong. (I'm just sayin'.)

When it’s extra toasty outside, I like to stay cool inside – say, “cool as a cucumber”?  I’m starting to get a few cukes in the garden, and I found a nice salad that is incredibly easy and tasty at  Even the preschool grandkids liked it – much to my dismay!  They ate all of it, so I had to make more when the next cucumbers were ready.

Cucumber Sunomono
Yield:  5 servings
    • 2 large cucumbers, peeled
    • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
    • 4 teaspoons white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
    1. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop out any large seeds. Slice crosswise into very thin slices.
    2. In a small bowl combine vinegar, sugar, salt and ginger. Mix well. Place cucumbers inside of the bowl, stir so that cucumbers are coated with the mixture. Refrigerate the bowl of cucumbers for at least 1 hour before serving.
 This salad reminds me of the veggie salad that the Mustard Seed Restaurant serves with their rice bowls, so I’m also giving you our copy-cat Osaka sauce recipe.  You have to use real, fresh-squeezed lemon juice in this to get the taste right. It’s great on grilled or sautéed shrimp, chicken, or tofu...or you could just drink it!
Osaka Sauce
    • 3 T. soy sauce
    • 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (3 lemons)
    • 2 tsp. Coleman's mustard
    • 3 T. sugar
    • 2 T. sesame oil
    • 2 T. rice vinegar
    • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
Whip all ingredients together in blender until well mixed.