Fan That Whines

It’s hot. In Hamburg. That’s why it’s news. Yesterday it was over 36 degrees and this morning when I woke up it was still 26. Here’s how it goes down in Hamburg when it’s hot.

  • You see a lot of people wearing pantyhose/nylons under short shorts. The wearers must think that it is impossible for Hamburg to get hot enough to justify bare legs, or they’ve made the modest choice in the comfort vs. modesty department, or they know something about nylons that I don’t (like that actually when the nylons get hot enough to melt they produce a lovely evaporative cooling effect?) I’m sure that there’s some more modern word for nylons, but I haven’t thought about them since 1992 so I don’t know what it is.
  • Tobias and I have an ongoing conversation about whether or not the baby is getting sunburned. I flutter around shading her hands with my shadow and turning her srtoller away from the sun at every stop light, Tobias points out that after 7 hours outside yesterday, including a swim outside at noon, the babe isn’t even a tiny bit pink.
  • Our new fan starts making a high-pitched whining noise after two days of use. WTF, FTW?
  • The professional cyclists who race in yesterday’s 250+ kilometer bike race get WAY too close to their support cars as they are handed replacement bottles of water through the window. Tobias assures me that this is normal. I say it’s not normal, not the hairless sinewy legs, nor the full-body white Lycra, nor calmly riding 2 feet away from a car while travelling 40 kph.
  • We realize that we don’t have a dinner plan at 9:00 pm, so we throw together some gazpacho that is awesome even though I forgot both the garlic and the red onion. We agree that turning on the stove to heat water to peel tomatoes* is folly, and throw the tomatoes whole into the food processor instead. Here’s a quick recipe for super fast* gazpacho:
-a bowl of tomatoes, preferably a mix of types
-one red pepper, diced fine
-one cucumber, diced fine
-the inner ribs and leaves of celery, diced fine*
-2 Tablespoons of your best vinegar (balsamic, white whine, red wine, sherry, apple cider, you name it.)
-2 Tablespoons of your second-best vinegar or lemon or lime juice
-1 heaping teaspoon of sea salt or 1 scant teaspoon of table salt
-lots of black pepper
-1/4 cup or so of olive oil
To make: put the tomatoes in the food processor and process until mostly smooth but with lots of recognizable bits remaining. Pour the tomatoes in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and eat one serving, refrigerate the remainder. As you eat the leftover gazpacho over the next days, tinker with the mix until it’s exactly how you like it. Some things to add as you go along:
-bread crumbs or big crunchy croutons*
-garlic, or chopped garlic mashed with a boiled egg
-finely diced red onion
-worcestershire or steak sauce*
-slices of fresh mozzerella* (this is fantastic if you use the kind that’s packed in water and made with bufallo milk.)
-basil, oregano, parsley, etc.
I love that the first bowl tastes so good – it’s refreshing and light and cool – and that the next bowls taste like they’re getting close to perfection. Ah, summer.

*oh, were you looking for an authentic gazpacho recipe? Lo siento. Here I have thoughtfully indicated the cues that show you the inauthenticity of this recipe. Omit the celery, the croutons, and any sauces containing both fish and raisins**. Also, you’ll want to peel your tomatos, add more like a half cup of olive oil, and then spend hours fiddling with the seasonings before realizing that there’s just too much vinegar. Too bad you can’t even it out with sugar, that would be inauthentic to el maximo.

**looked at the ingredients of your steak sauce lately?

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