The one and only kitchen tool for summer

Well, let´s face it: I don´t really like summer. I don´t mind being cooped up under a whirring fan in a darkended room, but I hate not being able to go out between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.
There are millions of delicious summery foods I´d love to be eating, to make full use of the season´s bounty. But I´d rather cut off my foot than turn on the oven; my expeditions to the market are short and to the point, and have to be made when J is at hand to carry home the watermelons; and there are plenty of establishments happy to serve me icy beer and boquerones en vinagre.

So I have just one word for you, young man: "tin-opener". Summer is the time to rummage around in the cupboard and root out all those exotic jars you found at that darling little stall in the market in the pretty village. The chutney somebody gave you. The tinned fish you only bought for the cool graphics. The packet of slimy looking Oriental pickles. The tube of anchovy paste.

Bring ´em on, I say. It´s all very well to go on about fruit cobblers, clafoutis, coca, grilled fish and escalibada. The truth is, when the thermometer is in the 40ºC range, if you can slice a tomato you´re in Olympic endeavour territory, and good luck to you.

The picture is for a baking group (baking!! gasp! I just went slightly green), the Bakeanistas. Mary, of the Sour Dough blog (and check that out for great bread and new drawings at some point, too) comissioned it, and I had a lot of fun with the Wild, cool and swingin´ Sixties look.


Tote bags and summery dishes

Here´s a site I love: Reusable bags.

They have lots of different models for all sorts of bags that fold into tiny little pockets, perfect for carrying in a handbag and pulling out at the market or grocery store.

I don´t know about you, but I am terribly promiscuous in the market. With meat and fish I´m pretty faithful, but with fruit stalls, forget it. I have one guy for herbs, another for ginger, limes, avocadoes and mangoes, a third for apples and a fourth for all the rest of the normal stuff. And if the plum tomatoes are at 99 cents the kilo, I´ll have a fling with anyone.
I don´t like to arrive at a stall carrying the bag with the logo of another, and it´s my main reason for loving these tote bags.

Also, that they´re more comfortable and planet friendly. And you look so much better with a prettily stamped bag on your shoulder than with several ugly plastic ones dangling from your hands. What´s not to like?

On a more culinary note, here are links to the so-excellent and summery vichyssoise, and this salpicón from last year.