The new Air Conditioning / Heating Unit will be completely installed and ready to rock 'n roll by no later than 12 noon today.
It has been promised.
After two days and two unbelievably hot nights (it was 92 degrees in the house at 11 PM, which was before a magnificent rain storm - complete with large claps of thunder and brilliant lightening - cooled things down to 86 degrees at 3 AM), I'm not exactly "standing on that promise" but I do live in "sure and certain hope".
So, I suppose it should not come as a surprise that my brain cells have pretty much wilted in the heat. Whatever creative thoughts I have are turning to excited anticipation of and preparation for having some friends come this week end.
Which means, for me anyway, cooking up something special.
Not long ago, I was at an 'event' which started with a variety of 'soup shooters' - small shot classes filled with cold soup. As I remember, it was cream of asparagus, gazpacho and zucchini.
Not only did it present well, but they were absolutely delicious and refreshing. It was a perfect compliment to the light summer dinner which followed.
I called the caterer of the event and, after some of my best sweet-talking, got the recipes. I'm going to spend the late morning grocery shopping in the local air conditioned Harris Teeter's, then, stop by my local produce stand, and, by the time I come home or shortly thereafter, I intend to cook up a storm in air conditioned luxury.
Or, at least, start the first of the 'soup shooters'. After I take a nap.
Here's the first of the recipes I intend to start this afternoon. It really is pretty amazing.
Amazing Zucchini Soup Shooters
This is a classic soup shooter, a delicious cold soup recipe, consisting of fresh zucchini, leeks, potato, white onion, garlic, scallions, vegetable stock and spices.
2 T. EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 T. butter
2 leeks, white part only, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 med. onion, thinly sliced
4 scallions, both white and green parts, cut into 1/2 inch slices
large clove of garlic, minced (you can never have too much garlic)
5 zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch slices (about 2 cups)
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch slices
4-5 cups vegetable stock
1 T. lemon juice
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. each marjoram, thyme, rosemary and savory - or, to taste
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup heavy cream (or more, as needed)
2 T. chopped chives for garnish
Heat EVOO and butter into a 4-5 quart saucepan and saute leeks, onions, scallions, garlic, zucchini and potatoes until slightly softened (5-10 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add vegetable stock and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add salt, pepper and herbs.
Simmer until vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.
Puree soup in blender or processor in several batches.
Stir in Worcestershire sauce and cream (if soup is too thick, add more cream.
Allow to cool then refrigerate at least two hours, but it's best if made a day or two before you plan to serve.
Pour cold soup into pitcher for pouring. Pour into four - six ounce shot glasses, making sure any splashes are wiped off.
Garnish with fresh dill and add a wide straw if desired.
Serve with thin bread sticks or small rolls (I've got a recipe for small, 1 inch rosemary biscuits that should go well with this).
There should be enough for a dozen shooters with enough left over for a meal the next day.
So then, off I go into the heat of the day - or, the cool of the supermarket, as it were - in great anticipation of returning home to an air conditioned home and an afternoon and early evening of creative cooking.
Life is good.