Man, it's dry out there. Hot, dry and breezy.
It's that time of year when the backs of my hands start to peel, even if they haven't had a sunburn. It's been going on the past three years, so I attribute it to age — and the drying of hot, moving, summer air. But I've found a good remedy: Corn Huskers Lotion "heavy duty hand treatment." It's a workaround. I'm getting older, and it's dry out there. Cope, cope, cope.
Aging and drying can be beneficial (she said hopefully, er, rather, copefully). Cranky and I have been snacking on some wondrous bresaola from the Fatted Calf. I've known for some time that bresaola was defined as "paper-thin slices of air-dried beef." What I didn't realize was that the slices are cut after the eye of round is seasoned, whole, and allowed to dry for a couple of months or more. Then sliced. I had mistakenly assumed that paper-thin slices of beef were dried... which would have resulted in meat splinters, I now realize. So this stuff is deep, barnyardy, aromatic — and tender. Good.
Hooray for aging and drying.
You may recall that Cranky and I were on a quest to find a suitable container to set outdoors and let the sun and wind dehydrate the food within, while keeping out the varmints.
We think we found it today. At the hardware store, shopping in the "laundry" aisle for clothespins and clothesline (I mean, we'd be crazy to run the dryer when we have these perfect conditions, right?), we spotted cloth mesh bags for washing delicates. The fabric is white synthetic material, with holes in it small enough to keep a fly out. There's already a soft zipper sewed in, so it seals in a jiffy.
The next question, then, was what to put in there to set the food on, something that would give the sack a little structure and not let it smother (or stick to) the dryables.
We found it at the Container Store. A simple, primitive letter basket for the office desk, made of thin wire. Cheap (but not as cheap as the laundry bag). Durable. Doable.
At the market this morning we had already selected some nectarines to dry, and this was even before we found our laundry-bag/letter-basket jackpots. Oh, and we got a couple of yellow, super-plump, totally globular limes to acidulate the nectarine segments with.
We're all set to let time and desiccation do its bit. Aging and drying are good. Yes (cope), yes (cope), yes.