Summertime…And The Livin’ Is Easy?
Not Always, so Here is a Recipe for Gazpacho
Summer used to be my favorite season, back when it meant being out of school, with the best weather of the year for months on end, friends to play with all day long and into the night, developing a deep brown tan, going barefoot, and all the water…glorious water…pools, lakes, rivers, the ocean…swimming, boating, or just floating. Those are the best memories.
I still love summer in Vallarta, for the storms and cleansing rains and the relative quiet, but for those of us who live here year round, summertime in paradise can be difficult. School is out, but we still go to work. Many of our friends leave for the hottest months. Tanning is not healthy, and now we have wrinkles to worry about, so we try to stay out of the sun. We still have the water, but some of us don’t have much time for floating around anymore.
Summertime doldrums can take us to a low place, but where there is a problem there are solutions. Here are a few ideas to help pick us up and keep us cool.
Watermelon Therapy: Obvious, I know, but sometimes we forget the simple things. There are not many things that are more refreshing than a slice or ten of a sweet, juicy, COLD watermelon. Before buying one, make sure there is space in the refrigerator to keep it cold, or use a cooler with lots of ice if your fridge is too small. If you think a watermelon is too big for you, invite the neighbors’ kids over and have a seed spitting contest.
Fans, fans and more fans: Keep the air moving around you at all times. Still air is hot and humid air. Carry a hand fan (habanico), and you will look like a fabulously elegant Spanish lady. There are some very nice ones in the accessories department at
Liverpool. At home, use electric fans everywhere. There are even some small clip-on fans that work really well. I have one clipped to my desk that blows on me constantly and has saved me from certain misery. I, personally, don’t like to sleep with air conditioning on, but some well placed fans make everything alright again.
Road Trip Cure: Try a trip to the mountains.
is only a couple hours away, and there really is a difference in the air. It is noticeably cooler and less humid. Its not too far for a day trip, or you can spend the night. San Sebastian
Cinematic Relief: Any of Vallarta’s many movie theaters are great places to escape the heat. They are kept so cold that you might even need a sweater.
Water Works: A cool shower before bed will bring down the body temperature enough to bring on a good night’s sleep. However, it’s best to keep your hair dry. A wet pillow is not a pleasant thing.
Cool Foods: One of the most refreshing and satisfying foods on earth has got to be Gazpacho. This cold Spanish vegetable soup will make you and your body feel happy.
So Easy and SO Good!
Have all the vegetables and tomato juice chilled before starting.
Mince very finely (or if you are in a hurry or lazy you may chop in a food processor, but the texture is better if chopped by hand):
Pepper (green, red, or yellow)
Put all this in a large bowl and add to taste:
Tomato Juice or V-8
Lime or Lemon Juice
Fresh Ground Pepper
A little Sugar (if needed to balance not-so sweet tomatoes)
Stir together and chill for an hour to 12 hours before serving.
Serve with a sprig of basil
A swirl of cream on top
A few peeled, cooked shrimp
Enjoy and stay cool!