It is so hot here in DC that the usually surly population has officially gone off the charts. In "only in Washington" fashion, I observed a character this week, who I'll call "ridiculously hostile watermelon pusher man", or WP, for short.
I had seen him a few weeks prior, camped out on the same corner, a few blocks from DuPont Circle. He'd set up his shop of meanness outside of what was presumably his residence. (Note: if you ever "work" where you live, try not to be a jerk. People know how to find you.) The first time I saw him, I thought it had to be some sort of performance art. Sadly, that was not the case.
What was he peddling, in the 100 degree heat? Slices of cold watermelon. Sounds refreshing, right?
WP's brilliant, and yet maniacal business plan, surely one not honed at Wharton, was to give the slices away. That's right, free of charge. Gratis. Equipped with a blue cooler, lawn chair, and cardboard sign, WP set about trying to foist free produce on the unsuspecting masses.
But like all good city dwellers, the intended beneficiaries were highly suspicious. Not many souls were brave enough to accept the free fruit.
How did WP deal with this? By mocking and ridiculing anyone within earshot. As in, "What the hell is wrong with people in this city?" "What, are you scared? You're scared, aren't you? Scaredy cat!" and, my favorite, "Don't be a loser, eat some freaking watermelon!"
Further proof that the heat makes people crazy, and that no allegedly good deed goes unpunished.
Good deed = no punishment; meanness = people avoid you. Think about it, WP.
The heat has also resulted in me avoiding the oven, and even the stove, whenever possible.
Tonight's dinner was a simple combination of polenta, black beans, and tomatoes and corn. I served it with a big spinach salad. Perfectly summer.
The recipes were so simple as to not really be worth mentioning. For the polenta, I used a 50/50 mix of finely and coarsely ground corn, which I find to produce the best consistency. The black beans were already prepared for me: I bought a can of seasoned beans. To the beans, I added sauteed diced poblano and few garlic cloves. The corn and tomato salad featured fresh corn, cut off the cob, and San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are worth the extra cost-- they are so sweet, perfect with summer corn. I added salt, pepper, sugar, and fresh basil.
Very few of the ingredients had to be purchased; most were ingredients I had at home. Just a couple of seasonal ingredients can really make dinner special.
This concludes my Martha Stewart Moment for the day. Thank you.