Sunday, fun day, lazy day….
Does everyone have a favorite Sunday routine? Mine is coffee in bed (thank you Stef!) Then wearing a soft tee shirt (preferably gray – don’t know why) and old jeans (today’s jeans are Sebi’s cast-offs, nicely frayed around the bottom, loose, low waist, faded white around the knees…) Then I like to cook, so today’s project was using the leftover watermelon. I made two types of smoothies with the leftover red part (yoghurt + watermelon for smoothie 1, & leftover apricot sorbet + watermelon + some lemonade and mint for smoothie 2). Then Stef helped cut up the rinds for some watermelon rind refrigerator pickles. Here they are, in their jars, ready for the fridge.
Our window is open, the heatwave is over and there is a cool breeze. The downstairs neighbors are having a barbecue, smells like summer.
Last night we were at a terrific 4th of July party, with a mojito bar and a fabulous bartender who juggled flaming bottles (and who made fantastic mojitos…) It was a lot of fun. I was tired after work and three days of unrelenting heat, so I sort of just sat and watched everyone (and drank mojitos…) but it was a lovely evening.
Finally, on Sundays, I just like to sit and read, so I have my kindle next to me and I’m reading “West of Sunset” by Stewart O’Nan, about the last years in the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s funny – we had to read “The Great Gatsby” in school, and although I’d hated most books we had to read (I could never bear to read another Dickens novel after suffering through “Great Expectations”) because we had to dissect them afterwards and it never made any sense to me. I could never see what there was to analyze – the story was a story and I was mystified with the teacher’s attempts to show metaphors and symbols. “What did the author mean?” she’d ask, and I could only see the obvious – the surface of the story – I took everything at face value. And then we read “The Great Gatsby” and suddenly the world seemed to develop different facets. I didn’t like most of the characters, the narrator frustrated and annoyed me, but Gatsby fascinated me. I read it to the end, then went back and read it again. I couldn’t believe he was dead. I had to change the ending. I rewrote it a hundred times in my head, I’d read the book then stop before the end and change it. And he afterwards he joined the cast of few fictional characters I keep with me always – a wry, shy, troubled character just on the edge of my imagination.
And so I started reading “West of Sunset”. I loved Fitzgerald’s books, and I had read “Zelda” when I was in high-school, so it was like meeting up with an old friend after years and years of being apart.
Watermelon rind pickle recipe:
Peel and dice the rinds, leave some pink on for color. For 1/2 watermelon: 4 cups vinegar (I used 1 cup cider vinegar and 3 cups white vinegar), 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar (I added an extra cup because my white vinegar was so strong), 1/3 cup kosher salt (I used sea-salt), 2 cinnamon sticks, pinch of allspice, pinch of cayenne pepper (or some red pepper flakes). Boil the water, vinegar, sugar and salt, stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add watermelon rinds and cook about 5 minutes. They should be translucent, fork tender but not soft. Add cinnamon, all spice and hot pepper flakes. Boil 1 minute more. Let cool for an hour or more. Strain into jars and cover with cooking liquid. Store in the fridge. Will keep for a couple weeks. I add a tiny touch of red food coloring when it’s finished cooking just to make it look prettier. 🙂