Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The idea seemed simple enough: we'd get together with friends for lunch one day in May while the roses were still in bloom in the hostess's garden, and before the heat of summer drove us back indoors for the afternoon. And then the weather went from weird to weirder. After a mild winter we'd had very cold weather in March and April...we even had snow on Easter Sunday. April proved to be not only cold, but also wet. May thought it was April, and the cold and wet continued. And continued. Every time we'd have one nice day I'd think "Here it is! Summer's GOT to here this time!"....and I was wrong again and again and again.

And then one day in June it got hot. Hot as in HOT...so hot that the leaves on my rosebushes, having no adjustment period at all, just crisped up like toast! And with the heat came humidity, a rarity here during the summer, and definitely not pleasant. We sweated and complained, but still couldn't arrange lunch. After weeks and weeks of rain, everything was overgrown and unkempt, then the heat and humidity made the idea of sitting outside very unappealing. And just as suddenly as it had come, the heat lessened, the humidity dropped dramatically, and cool breezes blew through the trees. Lunch might be not only possible, but downright pleasant!

Judith was our hostess, and if you read her blog, called "Think On It" you know that she's a trained chef and cook extraordinaire. Art, Shelly and I all knew to expect delicious things for lunch and of course we weren't disappointed! It only took me one bite of the cous cous salad
 and I was asking for the recipe! Judith assured me it would be on the blog, and I think it's a great summer salad. Just click here for the recipe and Judith's comments.

The main course was a spicy Peruvian chicken dish, one that Judith was able to make using spicy peppers that Shelly had brought to Italy from Texas. While I might not have the peppers to make this dish, I still want to add it to my collection, and I'm hoping Judith will share that recipe in the future.

Desert was a plum cake, one that Judith called easiest cake you've never made. Quick and easy is always good, and the fresh tart golden plums were great in this cake. As an added bonus Judith also let us sample her combination of zucchini bread and bran muffins. She calls the recipe zucchini bran bread and says it's fabulous hot from the oven covered with butter.  I'm sure the calories in the butter will be negated by the nutritional benefits of the zucchini and bran!

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At 7/24/2008 04:18:00 AM , Anonymous Judith in Umbria said...

How flattering! I'll do the aji recipe as soon as I can make it again to photograph it. That's always the kicker, eh?

I am working on a savory version of the zucchini bran bread now so I can add cheese and peperoncini.

At 7/24/2008 09:59:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

I'm making the cous cous salad today...the vegetables are marinating as I type! Here's hoping mine turns out as delicious as yours!


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