If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am so sad to see summer end. Even though I no longer have to go back to school in the fall, summer is still my favorite season. I love the heat and humidity; I love how it stays light late into the evening; I love the bounty of fresh foods available in roadside farm markets. The constant drone of the cicadas lulls me to sleep and the fresh herbs I grow in containers on my deck flavor my recipes. There is nothing I don’t like about summer.
I wrote earlier about a trip my hubby Bill and I took to Colorado and Oregon to visit two of our sons and their families. You can read about that trip here. We were home less than two weeks before we again boarded a plane for the West Coast so I could run a marathon in Washington state, about 30 miles east of Seattle. You can read about that disastrous marathon here.
Still not quite finished with summer, two of my grandsons and I decided to go on one final adventure. About an hour from our house there is a wildlife park that has a safari attraction. This means that you get to ride in an open-air bus and feed the wildlife directly from the vehicle. This appealed to us, so two days before school began, we all hopped in the car and drove to the wildlife park…
…where it was raining. Pouring, to be precise. We checked the radar and saw that the rain would end soon and went into the closest town for lunch. We didn’t have to wait long. The rain soon stopped and we hopped back in the car and went into the park.
Now, this park has lions and tigers and bears (Oh my!), but they are not part of the safari. All of the animals on the safari are herbivores (thank goodness). We loaded up on animal treats and set off on the safari, where we hand-fed bison, elk, antelope, deer and other exotic, but fairly tame animals, who knew the safari bus as a source of goodies. The big hit of the safari was the zedonks, a zebra-donkey hybrid, who loved the carrots we were dispensing.
After the safari, we moved on to see some of the other animals, visited the petting zoo, and wound up at the reptile house, where Henry petted a real alligator.
It was a great way to end the summer.
Two days later, all of my grandsons went back to school…
..but I didn’t!
Finally, if we were having coffee, I would give you this great new coleslaw recipe I got from my son. I love the taste and crunch of fresh cabbage (which costs about $1 for a head bigger than my head right now), but don’t like the mayonnaise-y kind of dressing that sometimes accompanies this dish. This version is crisp, light, and colorful, with just a little kick to it.
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced crosswise
1/8 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/4 head green cabbage, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or regular salt)
1/4 cup good olive oil
Smash the sliced onion in the 1/2 c. red wine vinegar and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. Combine the mustard, the rest of the red wine vinegar, salt and olive oil. Shake or whisk vigorously to combine. Combine the jalapeno, parsley and cabbage in a big bowl. Decant the vinegar from the onion and add the onion to the bowl with the cabbage mixture. Discard the vinegar. Toss the cabbage mixture with the Dijon dressing. You may add more salt and pepper to taste.
So far, I have eaten this for a side dish, used it to top chicken sandwiches, and added it to fish tacos. It is delicious!
What would you tell me if we were having coffee?