Cooling down

After our record-breaking 35 inches of rain during the first six months of the year, we've had next to no rain in July, and is it hot out there.  We've both just come in from all the yardwork we could stand.  The cistern being above-ground, it's at Gulf-of-Mexico temperatures, which is to say high 80's, so the water out of the hoses and faucets is not much cooler than I am.  I took the almost unheard-of step of putting ice cubes in my water glass.

Luckily there's just the thing in the frig:  leftover chilled cucumber-and-yogurt soup.

4 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 small or 1/2 large clove garlic
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/4 cup water
4 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut 1 cucumber into small dice, and set aside for garnish. Cut others into large chunks. Combine cucumber chunks, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, and water in a blender, and puree until smooth. Add scallions and mint leaves, reserving some of the mint for garnish, and puree briefly. Season with salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice if a tarter flavor is desired. Chill until ready to serve. Stir well before serving, and ladle into bowls or mugs, garnishing each serving with a big spoonful of diced cucumber and a sprig of mint.


MikeD said...

Infographic from the local weather guys.

I know all about the heat.

Grim said...

Heat index 105 here right now, and it's just going to get hotter through the afternoon.

E Hines said...

Why doesn't the lemon juice curdle the yogurt?

Eric Hines

Anonymous said...

We're gettin' all y'all's rain up here. Half an inch last week, three and a half inches overnight at the house. (I checked three rain gauges - 3.5")High of 86 today and back into the 90s. And no, this time it's not a dry heat.

Can I sell you some mosquitoes? Give you some mosquitoes? And grasshoppers?


MikeD said...

True story, I realized today that it's been so hot, for so long, that I've been showering for the past week using only the cold water tap. I say "cold water" because the water doesn't pass through my water heater, not because what comes out of it can even vaguely be called "cold". The water in the pipes outside the house is sitting in soil that is hot all day and doesn't significantly cool off at night. I have yet for the water from the "cold" tap to run out of heat, regardless for how long I shower, regardless of the fact that I shower before 8am every day.

In fact, if I actually want cold water from my tap, I have to turn on the hot water tap, because until the water from the heater arrives, the water in the pipes beneath my house is cooler than the water from outside. This is ridiculous. But no, Red, we don't want your mosquitoes. About the best thing I can say for this heat wave is that (save for the ants) I've not seen insects out. I think most of them have cooked to death.

Texan99 said...

The NPH tells me I picked up the wrong recipe, though this is a Martha Stewart recipe and probably a good one. Anyway, the one he used included dill with the mint, and didn't include either lemon or scallions. It's a pretty flexible approach: cukes, garlic, yogurt, salt, and whatever else sounds good that day. The lemon probably wouldn't noticeably curdle the yogurt, Eric, just because a lot of other things are mixed in there and pureed enough to stabilize the mixture, and besides, yogurt is already about as curdled as it's ever going to get. (Reminds me of an old comic routine about the impossibility of determining whether cottage cheese has gone bad, because everything bad that's going to happen to it has already happened. Not literally true, of course: cottage cheese can turn alarming colors if you forget about it in the frig.)

If my cucumber vines were bearing more enthusiastically, I'd be having cucumber soup again today.

We have not had a terrible mosquito problem this year despite the rain. Our theory is that the full pond has enabled the frog population to explode again. Bumper crop of water moccasins, though. My snake-killing dog is getting very skilled.

Cass said...

Ooh! I can't wait to make this, Tex!

I live for gazpacho in the summer - this sounds delicious. Thanks for posting it :)

Texan99 said...

We had a great tomato harvest this year, but it's been over for some weeks. I can't believe I didn't make gazpacho even once. Such good stuff when it's hot like this.

It turned out I did have 3 more cukes out on the vines, so my inimitable husband served me some more soup for lunch after all. It was room temperature right out of the garden, but there's a second bowl chilling for tomorrow.

Lest anyone should think I never help with the cooking, I've just learned to make rye bread, too, and will make a new loaf tomorrow morning with the starter that I fed today. And I made Caesar salad last night, the right way with an egg and an anchovy, and garlicky croutons out of the tail-end of last week's french loaf. The really competent cooking that goes on here, though, comes from my husband. Right now he's making a killer Mexican stew with pork, pineapple, plantains, tomatoes, raisins, onions, and jalapenos.

A neighbor brought by some wild grape jam made with the local grapes, which produced really well this year with all the rain. It tastes like red plum jam. It's been a foodie week.