A Typical October in Massachusetts
Brilliant reds and oranges brighten the countryside, and driving to work suddenly seems that much more bearable. At home, we begin to eat some of our favorite foods– rich and creamy concoctions that have been in hibernation for most of the fresh and healthy summer. Smooth pumpkin bisque for lunch, oven roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and root vegetables for dinner, and sweet and crunchy apple crisp for dessert. Fall has arrived, and, although it means that Winter lurks behind, I can’t help but love its crisp air, delicious produce, and cooking traditions.
This October in Madrid
I’m having trouble sleeping because it’s so warm in my apartment! Being on the 7th floor is great, but it proves the fact that heat rises. I’m starting to see Fall produce at the fruit and vegetable stand next to my building, but I just can’t imagine cooking it in my hot, tiny kitchen. It’s 82 degrees out and my nice idea of an afternoon walk in the park quickly turns into a bad one. I return dehydrated and sweaty. The Madrileños say it’s been extra hot for this time of year and, normally, I’d never complain, but I happened to have left my summer wardrobe in El Puerto and I’m tired of re-wearing the only two T-shirts I brought here. Also, the leaves don’t change pretty colors… just brown.
Agua de Sandia
Yesterday, dying of heat, I had the bright idea of ignoring the fact that it’s October, and of pretending we are still in August. I made Salmorejo for lunch and loaded up on the last of the summer fruit at the supermarket. When I saw the watermelons it triggered the memory of super refreshing Agua de Sandia that Ale and I enjoyed so much in Mexico. I decided to make it (as un-Octobery as it may be). It is a really delicious way to enjoy watermelon and super easy to make. You can also add vodka or run for something a bit more interesting…
Cut a small watermelon into chunks and blend. Add cold water (or cold alcohol) to dilute the watermelon puree. Strain (if desired) and enjoy over ice. Add mint for some extra flavor! It might just be the most refreshing drink you’ve ever had (especially in October!).