Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sneaking One In

Since Emma religiously wakes me up every day around 5:00 a.m., I thought I'd take this morning to sneak in a rare weekday blog post. Yeah, I know. I could be knitting. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

The weekend ended on a pleasant note. We fixed a delicious dinner for Leigh and, as usual, we overdid it a bit. Everything was fairly simple to make, but there was a lot. We started out with a chilled soup made with canteloupe, honeydew, cucumbers, sweet onions, jalapenos, mint, and cilantro. It was very tasty and very refreshing. The soup was followed by a salad of twice-grilled peppers with fresh mozzarella and caper-basil vinaigrette. For the main course, I grilled chicken cutlets that had been marinated in olive oil, lemon juice (with a few shallots thrown in for good measure). I topped the chicken with an arugula and tomato salad, with a side of orzo with peas and herbs. And is any dinner complete without dessert? Of course not! We had a summer berry shortcake (Leigh made the shortcake). Try this if you want to take your strawberry shortcake to another level:

Wash and prepare the berries (I cut the strawberries in quarters, vertically). Put a small handful of fresh mint leaves in a cup with about a tablespoon of sugar. Using a muddle or a wooden spoon, work the sugar and the mint together until the mint is all ground up (it will take you several minutes). Add the sugar mixture to the berries, along with the zest of one lemon. You might want to add more sugar to the berries, depending on how sweet they are and how much juice you want. You can also add a little bit of lemon juice if you'd like. Let the berries sit for at least 30 minutes. Serve on a warm shortcake, with fresh unsweetened whipped cream.

There are few things better than enjoying dinner on the deck with good friends (or family). We sat and talked much later than we should have. Tom and I didn't get to bed until 11:30. That's late, given that we're usually in bed before 9:30!

And speaking of going to bed early, that's something we won't be doing this weekend. Saturday is the first (annual?) Mule Run. It's a semi-organized 62-mile run, starting in Harper's Ferry Saturday evening and ending in Georgetown sometime Sunday morning. I'm not running; I'd probably be dead after five miles. Enquiring minds want to know. Can middle-aged people still pull an all-nighter? The last time I stayed up all night was 12 years ago, in Spain. It will be an...um...interesting run. It should be fun, if your definition of fun is staying up all night and being eaten by mosquitos!

You can bet that my knitting is going to go along.


PurlingPirate said...

Ha! Even the thought of YOU staying up all night makes ME tired!
The dinner sounds like it was wonderful!
Good luck with the mosquitos!

Sheepish Annie said...

Dinner sounds just wonderful...better too much than too little, right? And shortcake is a favorite of mine!

I'm pretty sure that we, the middle-aged, can still pull an all nighter. We just don't look as good doing it as we used to and need a week to recover. But it sure sounds like fun! Enjoy!!