I decided to give myself a day off this weekend and not because it’s a holiday, but because I’m in need of a day devoted to creativity and reflection. Besides, it’s 95 degrees F, with a heat index of 102 and standing on hot black top pavement at the farmers market, didn’t seem all that appealing. I know, some will decry me as a wuss. Frankly, wuss or not, I’m following my instincts here and that somehow validates my older, wiser self.
On days like today, I like to play in the kitchen. I would play in the garden, but it would be too stressful, watching everything wither in the heat of the day. No thanks. I watered everyone this morning and will check on them this evening once they’ve had a chance to recover. I have lots of cool things I’m growing that I can’t wait to share, but I’ll save that for when they are a bit more developed.
Playing in the kitchen means I can be free to do something new without the pressure of making a rushed meal or trying to salvage some expiring vegetables. I decided earlier in the week that I wanted to make a Roulade. I’ve never made such a thing, but after I saw a recipe at Jereme’s Kitchen, I couldn’t wait for the weekend to try it. I’m not a sweets kind of girl, but berries are in season and I love fresh whipped cream. What other excuse could I need?
Before making the roulade, I wanted to make some refreshing flavored water BECAUSE IT’S SO FRIGGIN’ HOT! A friend had given us some cucumbers at the market and instead of just slicing them up and putting them in the water, I ran them through the Vita-Mix, then poured the cucumber liquid through one of my nut milk bags. This is amazing! I let it drain for a while, then filled the rest of the carafe with fresh filtered water and chilled in the fridge. To serve, I pour half full glasses over ice and fill the rest with water. The cucumber water will go further that way without compromising flavor. Cucumber water is also good with a sprig of mint or a wedge of lime.
Ok, I must concede, before making the cucumber water, I had to clean the kitchen and that entailed wrangling with the dehydrator and putting away the fresh oregano that I had dried earlier in the week. I’m not sure which variety of oregano I’m growing since I started them years ago. One is Origanum vulgare, the inferior in flavor oregano, and the other is Greek Oregano or Origanum vulgare hirtum, the true oregano. I’m going to take a leap of faith and guess the oregano that I harvested was indeed a true Greek Oregano. It’s super spicy and VERY flavorful. It doesn’t look very pretty here, but no matter. The important thing is that it’s sufficiently dried.
Now that the oregano is put away, it’s back to the roulade. I followed the recipe though I used potato flour because that’s what I had on hand. I also used a combination of berries for the coulis and the roulade filling. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are in season, so that’s what I chose. Look how amazing this is! I did have a minor melt down because it took me longer to make the coulis (I had to make the simple syrup first) than anticipated and in the meantime, my whipped cream got soupy. I remedied that by whipping up some more, though I still threw a little tantrum because that’s how I roll. Heh.
Now that it’s almost dinner time and the tourists are seeking out seafood dining extravaganzas, we’re hitting the beach. Then I’ll have a little garden play time while the husband makes dinner. Yey, a perfect day!