"Things won are done,
Joy's Soul lies in the Doing."
- William Shakespeare

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


No, I'm not going to complain about the fact that Summer seems to be playing tricks on us here in the Pacific Northwest.  Again.  Nor am I going to subject you to a lengthy discourse on the importance of personal hygiene, though I do rate a good shower.  Rather, I'm referring to a baby shower that G, H, and I (that would be me), threw over the weekend, for our dear friends and soon-to-be parents, M and J.

How's that for a picturesque party location?

With the gorgeous backdrop, we did it up, mountain style.

It was a grand day, I tell you.  The sun actually shone.  

Laughter, along with the sangria, flowed freely.  

(Okay, a few were excluded from the sangria.  This didn't affect the laughter, never you fear.)
Kiddos ran wild.

 Misters may have run somewhat amok as well...As you do.

Of course, we did manage to eat a few things.  Specifically, this:

From the inspiring, gorgeous cookbook, La Tartine Gourmande, this recipe for cold honeydew and cucumber soup, served with skewered melon and proscuitto-swaddled (forgive me, it is a shower, after all) mozzarella - well, they fit the bill perfectly.

The soup is an absolute delight.  Honeydew and cucumber mingle sweetly with shallots and thai basil, to create a lovely, unique twist on a gazpacho, that rides the line between sweet and savory splendidly.  A no-cook dish, the only thing that was slightly tricky (as we were picnicking), is that it must be served very chilled.  That's what ice and coolers are for, though, right?

Here you go:

Cold Honeydew and Cucumber Soup, with its colorful skewers - adapted from La Tartine Gourmande
 - serves 6, recipe easily doubles, or serve as an appetizer, in a small cup or shot glass

1 lb 7 oz (650g) honeydew melon flesh, diced
1 long English cucumber (300 g, 10 1/2 oz), peeled, seeded, and diced
1 small shallot, peeled and finely chopped
juice of one large orange
juice of one lime
15 thai basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the melon, cucumber, shallot, orange and lime juices, and basil leaves, and pulse to a fine purée.  Season with sea salt and pepper, and stir in the olive oil.  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours until well chilled.

To serve, drizzle a wee bit of olive oil over each serving, and present with melon and mozzarella skewers, recipe below.  This soup keeps well for a few days in the fridge.

For the skewers
honeydew melon, balled with a melon baller
canteloupe, balled
watermelon, balled
mini mozzerella balls
few slices of proscuitto cut in half, lengthwise
few thai basil leaves
freshly ground black pepper

Make one or two skewers per person, with 4 balls of melon, 2 basil leaves, and one proscuitto-wrapped mozzarella ball, on each.  Season with pepper.  Share with friends.

Photo courtesy of John Carlson
 I love our gang.

Have a beautiful day.

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