warm weather food & cucumber lemon water

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oh my lord it has been hot in portland. high 80s all week. i supposed that is pretty tame based on the beating from the sun the rest of the world is getting, but here in the pacific northwest we’re not used to the heat.

growing up in alaska didn’t set me up well for the heat either. i’m proud of myself when i wear pants in 70 degree weather, something i used to make fun of tourists for doing when i was growing up. when anything over 65 means beach weather, surviving in 90 degree heat is quite an accomplishment.

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i went to the grocery store this morning and we went about our usual ritual of trying to figure out what the hell we were going to eat. the only criteria for about the past month has been that any food we make cannot require time in the oven. anything requiring the stove top is carefully considered whether it will be worth it or not.

so what to eat? what old favorite to put a new spin on? i know often food bloggers are never satisfied with a classic recipe. plain latkes become zucchini potato latkes and chocolate ice cream becomes malted chocolate ice cream with sea salt caramel truffles and a goat cheese swirl. (that actually sounds so good now that i type it.) the point being: we’re not often satisfied with the usual.

while i am definitely one to throw in crazy twists from time to time this hot weather has me flocking back to some classics that i don’t think need any improving.

here is what the heat has me eating, and loving:

honey thyme flatbreads
honey thyme flatbread
with cheese and fruit
when i want dessert but don’t have any sweets around this hits the spot. you can adjust the cooking method to make it more heat friendly by not putting them in a 450 degree oven, but cooking them in a very lightly oiled pan. it still gets warm by the stove but sometimes you really need flatbread and cheese!

ready to ferment
homemade bubbie’s pickles

they take 3 to 4 weeks to make but when they are ready… oh so good. plus, the inside of a growing cucumber on a warm day is up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside. are pickles cooler too?

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caprese!
on bread. on a toothpick. dunked in pesto. i’ll take it.

ploughman
english ploughman’s lunch

bread, pickles, cheese, fruit, veggies? yes, please! no cooking required and it only take a few minutes to chop everything up. now if i could only find some branston pickle in the grocery store…

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fish schmear and chips,
or crackers, or a sandwich, or on your finger
another chilled quick snack turned meal. something to do with those pints of white king salmon my parents canned and sent down.

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smoked salmon dip

mmm… more salmon. though when it gets hot i sometimes skip the food processor and just plop salmon down on a cracker with cream cheese. lazy never tasted so good.

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tofu banh mi and bubble tea

it needs to be a little cooler to cook the tofu but i think its often worth the 15 or so minutes in front of a burner.

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and to wash it all down…

cucumber lemon water

1 pitcher cold water
1 lemon, sliced
1/3 cucumber, sliced

add the lemon and cucumber to the water and set in the fridge. allow at least an hour for flavor to develop. if you’re feeling extra fancy, slice a small strawberry and throw it in there.

i like to put this together at night so i have something cold and refreshing in the morning and throughout the day. if you drink this up quickly you can add water to the cucumber and lemon a second time and still get lots of flavor.

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