17 hours ago
Sunday, August 1, 2010
True to the promise of the festival, today I had the first harvest too big to bring in as a single basketful or armload. The festival’s counterpart, Beltane at the beginning of summer, the planting of the crops and the marriage of the god and goddess, is full of promise and joy. Lammas is full of bounty and joy, but melancholy too, as the god begins to prepare for his yearly sacrifice and death, and the goddess begins to remember her anger over the loss of her daughters.
In modern patriarchal theology we think of lightning as a phallic manifestation, but I like to think of August storms as the fury and despair of the goddess who cannot save the earth her daughters from their imminent death, year after year after year. She brings us daily bounty, more than we can use, as both fruited gift and fruitless bribe. It means the downward slope towards the frozen midwinter is beginning.
10 Golden beets, blanched and sliced thin
3 small Chiogga beets, blanched and sliced thin
1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
1 green pepper, sliced very thin
1-2 ears of corn, nibletted and blanched
3 apricots, diced
1 Shishito pepper, seeded and diced
Macerate (i.e. soak) the cucumber in a couple tablespoons of honey and salt for 1-2 hours. Macerate the apricots and shishito peppers in cider vinegar for 1-2 hours. Drain and rinse just before mixing up the salad. To blanch the beets, trim the roots and stems (peeling optional), and drop them into actively boiling water for no more than 5 minutes. Allow to cool, then slice. To blanch the corn, slice the niblets from the cob, and drop them into actively boiling water; leave until the color deepens (a couple/few minutes at most).
Mix everything together with a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise. (Make it yourself.)
I served this as a side with crab cakes.