There is hot. There is Florida hot ... but the hottest and most soul-sucking of all the hots is September hot.
By the time we hit September hot we are out of patience with heat.
This September I am out of patience with the "farm to table " marketeers.
The “farm to table” marketeers would have you believe that growing food on “farms” and taking it to “tables” is a new idea. They would also have you believe that right now there is produce from local farms in abundance in their kitchens.
That is not the case.
The “farm to table” movement has done some very real good. It is good that we are paying attention to where our food comes from. But in September, none of it is coming from local farms.
Almost nothing edible grows outside in Florida in September.
Take a look at your herb garden. If it is anything like mine the only thing growing in it is a tough, little rosemary bush.
Three things are still grown commercially at the end of a hot Florida summer: rosemary, melons, and a variety of potato used exclusively for potato chips.
For a true, September, “farm to table”, dining event I recommend Melon Mojitos and Rosemary Potato Chips.
Find a comfortable chair in front of the AC blower.
Suck some patience from the bottom of your melon mojito.
Think of that October cold front coming your way.
Sigh serenely… “sure is hot” ….and have a potato chip.
Cube 4 cups of watermelon.
Rough chop a cup of mint. Grind the bejeesus out of it.
Put the mint and melon in a big pitcher filled with ice.
Pour in a cup of rum. Add an ounce of melon liquere.
Top it off with 7-up or soda and the juice of two limes.
Add a little honey or maple syrup to taste.
Stir languidly and top with a clump of mint and a little umbrella.
Rosemary Potato Chips:
Buy a big bag of the thickest potato chips you can find from our friendly neighbors at Publix.
Warm them in the oven.
Grind the bejeesus out of some fresh rosemary from your garden.
Mix it with olive oil and let it sit for a bit (garlic and pepper and extra salt optional).
Toss the warm chips with just enough rosemary olive oil to flavor the chips.
Sean Murphy is the owner of the Beach Bistro and the "eat here" restaurants. Comments can be directed to him at email@example.com
If you wander into the air-conditioned interiors of any of his restaurants in September and tell the first person you see that, "it sure is hot," the first glass is on Sean!
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