Sweet Georgia Brown, it's been hot around here. Saturday, temperatures in Noe Valley got up to 102º, I'm told, and I certainly believe it. We live in a top-floor unit with a tar roof and windows to the east and west, so there was just no help in sight. We watched the temperature on our thermostat rise through the 80s and 90s until ... oops! It only goes to 94º. Everything above that was just "OL" for overload. We were in OL for roughly 6 hours, and I don't doubt for a moment that we broke the 100 mark, perhaps by quite a lot. Sitting in front of our lone fan in the kitchen was no help, as all it did was blast searing hot air into our faces.
We survived, but there were casualties. At one point I entered the kitchen and noticed that wine was leaking from two of the bottles on our rack. The heat had caused the wine to expand, putting pressure on the corks. The bottles that were obviously affected were not ones I particularly cared about, but I hope some of the bottom-rack stuff didn't get too cooked. We immediately shuttled most of it to the basement, and stuck some in the fridge for safe keeping. Guess it's time to invest in a wine cellar.
Still, as unaccustomed as we are to such sweltering conditions, it's kind of nice to get it in bursts like we do. We only have to endure a few days of it; back east I remember seemingly endless stretches of hot, muggy weather, air like the breath of hell. At the least it gives us a great opportunity to indulge in those great American summer classics that otherwise don't work in our chilly summers. Saturday was a full-on Southern feast, with pulled pork, cole slaw, green beans (cooked too long for me, not long enough for DPaul), corn on the cob and milkshakes for dessert.
Yesterday, it had cooled sufficiently to where we could fire up our grill. You see, we have little or no back yard, but we do have a grill in our stove. On the bright side, we can grill even in the dead of winter. Conversely, it turns the entire kitchen into an oven. Still, it's worth it.
We had some ground beef and buffalo in the freezer, and of course copious amounts of herbage from the "garden." DPaul chopped in a bunch of oregano, thyme and, of course, basil into our "beeffalo" mix, fired up the grill and went to town. Some grated cheddar (Safeway O Organics sharp cheddar cheese -- meh. Not sharp enough for me.), some relish and Dijon mustard, and a dollop of two-day old cole slaw ... gotta love that pale purple hue bled from the cabbage.
In spite of the fact that there was more basil than the other herbs, the oregano really stood out in these burgers. It played so well with the meat, giving it contrast and brightness. The other herbs were definitely in the chorus, but the oregano was a soloist, and oh, how she sang.