August 25, 2010

I’m at the beach this week, enjoying alternating days of sun and clouds, with a few rainstorms, thunderclaps, and bizarro occurences thrown in. Seriously, this has been a strange week.

I can’t keep this story to myself.

Two nights ago, at 2am, Dennis shot out of bed shouting “Police!” In my normal befuddled to be awakened way, I stumbled around saying “what? what?” “Didn’t you hear that? The police are in the yard.” I had heard nothing at all. Dennis rushed to the front of the house.

Our friend K emerged from her bedroom, and, looking across the backyard, saw a policeman standing over what initially appeared to be a pillowcase on the ground. No, it was a slim young man being handcuffed, then hauled to his feet.

Dennis and I, at the front of the house, watched as a young man in nothing more than a bathing suit (no shirt, no shoes, no future) was frogwalked to a waiting police car.

The police came back to talk to us, explaining that the perp had stolen a raft a few blocks over and there had been a chase through backyards and across quiet streets, ending in the yard of our rental house. I must interject here and explain that I heard “giraffe” – not raft – and was thrown into such a tizzy trying to figure out what in the world a giraffe was doing in Dewey Beach.

The cops have come back again to take our name. Two very nice young men – seriously, when did cops start to look like children?

The perp/kid is already out on bail. He was drunk as a coot, and had nothing on him except those bathing trunks. No ID, no cell phone, no car keys. No one knows where he stashed the giraffe.

Beyond shooting episodes of COPS in our backyard, the beach has been a delicious few days of lazy reading and delicious simple meals. It’s been just the relaxation I’ve needed after all the weeks of renovation.

Louie has loved the beach. And made several friends. Here he is running with Kennedy the Great Dane. But his best friend is Clover, a 9 month old Wheaton Terrier. (I’m testing and learning about video, in the hopes I can take the camera into the kitchen soon.)

I love nothing more than reading while listening to the waves break. Here are a few reading recommendations:

(re: THE PASSAGE – I had to stop reading it because I had nightmares, but if you like scary books, it’s engaging.)

The NPR story is supposed to run this week and I will post as soon as I know more. In the meantime, here’s a very easy and utterly delicious peach salsa that is a little spoon of summer every time. Great with scrambled eggs, which is how I served it to Linda Wertheimer, and on top of a simple cheese quesadilla, fantastic.

Peachy Spicy Salsa
Makes 5-6 pints
Adapted from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving

6 cups ripe peaches, peeled and diced
1-1/4 c red onion
1-2 jalapeno peppers, ribs and seeds removed or intact, according to your personal taste
1 c sweet red pepper
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c fresh cilantro
3/4 c cider vinegar
2 T honey
2 tsp cumin
1/2 t cayenne

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the peaches for 30-60 seconds, depending on the size of the fruit.
Have ready a large bowl of ice water. I like to fill my sink, or a cooler, with ice water. Slip the peels from the peaches, then remove the pit and cut into a 1/2″ dice.

Add the peaches to a 5 qt. non-reactive pan. Add the cider vinegar, honey and spices and stir well. The vinegar will keep the fruit from discoloring.

Put the onion, peppers, garlic and cilantro in the food processor and pulse until everything is cut up quite small, but not liquified in any way. (If you don’t have a food processor, chop by hand, but make sure the pieces are smaller than the pieces of peach.

Add the chopped vegetables to the peaches and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring gently so the peaches do not break apart.

Put hot salsa into hot pint jars and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

PS I have also made this salsa with 1/2 peaches and 1/2 tomatoes – WONDERFUL!

16 Responses to “Giraffes in the Yard, Beach Reading, and Peachy Spicy Salsa”

  1. Erin

    I'm also reading Medium Raw! Interesting read from an oh-so-interesting man.
    Recipe looks amazing!

  2. Liz the Chef

    Lovely beach post, especially video of Louie! Keep us updated re your NPR debut!

  3. THE Tough Cookie

    Giraffe…..I'm loving this post!!!! I can relate to it completely! Love the video of Louie and Kennedy. The kids are allright.

  4. Winnie

    OMG. No shoes, no shirt, no future. Love it. And the raft/giraffe- too funny! Louie is adorable and that peach salsa looks awesome…can't wait to hear you on the radio!

  5. pdbudd

    The Peach Salsa looks good. I am going to try a version with a couple of mangoes who are hiding in the fridge. But the red peppers in your photo do not look like the basic red bell peppers at my store. What are these red peppers?

    I liked the raw video of Louie on the beach…happy!

  6. MrsWheelbarrow

    pbudd, the peppers are called Jimmy Nardello – an heirloom variety of sweet red pepper. Any pepper will do, but these are my personal favorite.

  7. Colleen

    No one knows where he stashed the giraffe. Hilarious! Can't wait to make the peach salsa too.

  8. Misti

    So I just finished making a batch and it is wonderful. I am not sure why I bottled it though, with my six kids we are already down 2 pints! It was good practice to bottle. I don't do it enough and it still takes me forever and makes me nervous.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. hkpowerstudio

    Yumm! I just made this with all tomatoes and it turned out fabulously! I love the touch of sweetness that the honey gives.

  10. Melissa Villaveces

    Just wondering if you think I could sub out mangos for the peaches in this salsa? I’m rolling in mangos and this looks delicious.

    • Cathy

      What a great idea! And an enviable position. Rolling in Mangos. Please let me know how it comes out. I think it’s genius.

      • Melissa Villaveces

        Thanks for the quick reply. I’m going to give it a try. Rolling in mangos is one of the few benefits of putting up with Florida’s summers. Sadly no sour cherries or apricots, with flavor, to be found anywhere. I was so looking forward to putting up your sour cherry pie filling and all your apricot recipes. I’m going to keep on looking though and bugging the produce guy. I think he is avoiding me though after I harrassed him all spring for ramps . . .to no avail.

  11. Serafin

    I made this salsa last year after your NPR debut! It is fabulous and I am going to make another batch tomorrow as there are still some peaches at the farms. What is the expected shelf life for these jars? I forgot about 1 jar and opened it up at 9 months and the flavors just seemed wrong. Should this be eaten within a certain time frame or could it just have been a funky batch/jar?

    • Cathy

      I’ve kept this for a year with no issues, so perhaps it was a funky jar? I’m so jealous you still have peaches! I’m counting the days until next July.


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