the month of july has been particularly nice, sunshine and so hot...! so despite my itchy feet and wanderlust (i'm dreaming of a trip to the dry and crackling hot beaches in italy... or maybe hawai, chuckle), i quite enjoy the summer we've got here (while it lasts). i always try to cram in as many typical seasonal activities as possible, to seize the moment the most. that way, i can enjoy the season while at the same time already looking forward to the next - because i know i kind of got the maximum out of it. so, it's a little late, but then again, it's never too late for a list of summer to do's.
1. swim in the sea - or at least dip the toes in - check (toes)
2. take a dip in the lake - check (today over lunch, ahem)
3. get a sherbet colored mani / pedi - check (did it on my own, though)
4. visit the several farmers' markets for fresh vegs and flowers - check and check
5. go on an extensive bike ride - check (sort of not so extensive, though)
6. make popsicles - kind of check (i ate them at my friend's so far)
7. go to the movies in spite of the beautiful weather - check
8. host a picknick - to be done
9. get a tan line - it won't happen, but you can always dream
10. wear hotpants - it happened, but not without a strange feeling that i might be a tad too old for this?
11. make a whole dinner out of watermelon - check
12. make up dreamy get-away and holidays scenarios to exotic destination - ongoing
13. get up at night to kill mosquitos - vital
and with that, friends, i'm suggesting you make the summeriest dish i've ever had (right after gazpacho - but there are only so many times you can eat gazpacho in a week, duh!): gwyneth's cold avocado cucumber soup. super refreshing, super simple.
cold avocado cucumber soup
adapted* from gwyneth paltrow's book 'it's all good'
2 avocados, pitted and chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled, deseeded and chopped
2 limes, juice
1 cup crème fraîche
1 tsp. fleur de sel
1 drop harissa
1 tsp. acacia honey
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup good vegetable broth, if needed
ice cubes and basil leaves for serving
put the prepared avocado, cucumber, lime juice and olive oil in a food blender and pulse until creamy and smooth.add the crème fraîche and blend some more. season with harissa, fleur de sel, honey and vegetable broth, if needed (e.g. for desired thinness). put in the fridge for at least 4 hours to chill thoroughly. we used small clay pots that we placed in the freezer overnight for an extra kick, and i must say this worked brilliantly! decorate with a couple of ice cubes and basil leaves and serve immediately.
* note: gwyneth only uses avocado, cucumber and lime juice, and nothing else. very simple, very detox! i mean, i like things pure and simple, it's my mantra. but still... a little salt and a little harissa go a long way... and that extra crème fraîche (especially it's one that's so fresh and directly out of a huge wooden barrel, freshly ladled into a pot for you) never hurt anyone, duh. so, yes, guilty: we like our stuff a bit more... rich and flavorsome. try it both ways, starting with the simple basic gwyneth version and tweaking it from there.