11 July 2008
In the Netherlands, they refer to the summer as "cucumber time" for the news. Basically, it means that there's nothing important going on, so the newspapers fill the space with non-news news. Summer here is real vacation time. Any kind of appointment you want to make, item you want to order, in general any kind of business you want to get done will take more time. Most requests receive the, "yeah (big sigh), well it is vacation time..." response. It's a bit tough on those of us who are so unreasonable as to think that life goes on in the summer. After four years, I still haven't gotten used to it.
However, on the positive side, I've run into a couple of signs that the American press may be experiencing its own unannounced cucumber season. They've come in the form of articles in the New York Times. The first was an article about the health dangers of flip-flops. Now, I don't know about you but I've got my flip-flops on the minute it's not completely irresponsible to my toes to expose them to the weather! Shoes are a kind of evil. They're have to be manually installed, they require socks, and they squish your feet. As for the article, read the comments, they're as much fun as the article itself.
You would think that a flip-flops article was enough of a sign, but no. Earlier this week, someone sent me a link to a chocolate cookie article. In case you don't feel like reading the whole thing, the gist of it is that cooling your cookie dough for 12-36 hours will make for much better cookies! Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any tips for how to muster the patience it would take to wait that long for a warm chocolate chip cookie. You might read the article as an advertisement for the cookie dough log. That's something you can't get here: pre-made chocolate cookie dough in the cooler section. I remember them well from a certain post-UNC basketball game ritual back in my undergrad days. Stop at the Harris Teeter on the way home, buy dough log, drive home, turn on oven, open, slice, bake.... YUM!!!