Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sweating with the squirrels

It is warm in the Cities; 86 yesterday for my run, and 92 with a decent dose of humidity today. Needless to say, I am sweating profusely.

In fact, it is so warm that I saw one of the resident gray squirrels doing his “flat” routine; they will lie down in the shade on their bellies with their legs and paws extended in an effort to cool down! It is tough being a furry creature in weather like this.

Clearly, the gray squirrels down here have learned a warm weather trick or two from my red buddies up north! Photo from last summer.



And, it is tougher being a runner. As noted in other posts, running in this kind of heat is challenging, making one want to resort to squirrel-like tactics in order to cool off!

Birds are busy with their youngsters right now. I saw what I believe was a young rose-breasted grosbeak outside of my window yesterday. And I also had a cute Eastern phoebe land on a park sign less than ten feet from me. Her children were nearby in a tree. And I see catbirds on a daily basis, most of them with beaks full of food.

Speaking of food, I am currently reading Michael Ruhlman’s book, “Soul of a Chef,” and I am thoroughly enjoying it. The book is divided into three sections, and it chronicles different chefs in their various pursuits of perfection. I have made it through the first section, which describes the Culinary Institute of America’s incredibly rigorous Certified Master Chef exam. Hardly anyone passes the test. I was astonished at what the chefs were put through, and this was truly an endurance event of its own. Ten days worth of different food and cooking tests? Wow! The book is a good read thus far, and has been difficult for me to put down. I would recommend it if you have any interest in food and cooking.

In my own cooking pursuits, Sunday’s meal was really tasty. I made my Thai basil chicken with rice stick noodles (recipe is here). A delicious and spicy dish, and I love using the rice stick noodles in stir-fries. They are kind of like angel hair pasta, but with a more interesting texture. Good stuff!

I like Thai food



Until next time,

Jean
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