Many newspaper editors across the country have apparently decided that Wednesday is the day to run articles about what to eat, and what to drink. Why fight a trend? Here goes.
First, what to drink. Recently Jonathan Yardly of the Washington Post reviewed Drink, A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately. According to Mr. Yardly, Drink is a thorough and entertaining look at the history of alcohol-use in society from the Ancient Greeks to the Brits gin-binge in the 1700s, and from America whiskey soaked 1800s through to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Next, from reading about it to imbibing it. The July 26 broadcast of The Splendid Table had a discussion of cool wines for hot days. As is set forth in the above link (scroll to the end of the page or listen to the podcast), now is the time for drinking young wines from cool climates. One recommendation in the story is Chilean pinot noir from the Casa Blanca Valley. This wine is relatively inexpensive. We tried two, one priced at about $13 and one at about $7. (after all, it's just for chillin' on a hot day so why not try a bargain bottle). The $13 bottle, a slightly chilled Veramonte 2006 Pinot Noir, was good and I'll purchase it again. The less expensive, from a different winery, was really pretty awful. Nonetheless, I'll definitely keep an eye out for more nice Casa Blanca Valley wine.
Now, to food.
Currently, my favorite food blog is Rachel Rappaport's Coconut and Lime. I recently made her Smoky Spicy Sloppy Joes and they were the best ever Sloppy Joes (I did make one change to her recipe. I omitted carrot and substituted a 1/2 can of diced tomatoes). Don't think of this as being like the Sloppy Joes you ate as a kid, which, all due respect to mom, were not so good. Rappaport's version is for grown-ups and perfect for Saturday lunch or an easy, breezy weeknight meal. Check out her blog for more good stuff.