Cucumber and Walnut Soup

Cucumber and Walnut Soup 

Looking east from the northside quays
 on the first glorious  day of  2012
Yesterday was that one glorious Irish summer day and it was by chance that my decision to make a chilled soup fell on that day. The recipe for cucumber and walnut soup is by Celia Brooks Brown. Aside from the obvious ingredients, it calls for Greek or thick and creamy yogurt, a clove of garlic, walnuts, mint leaves and lemon juice. It was perfect for the day as I had marched the younger offspring from O'Connell St, down Sean McDermott St to North Strand Rd, then along Ossory Road, around the East Wall area and along the quays in the hot sunshine. So when we arrived home, I was glad there was no cooking involved. All I had to do was peel, dice, stir, pound and chop. Then everything was left in the fridge to chill.

Cucumber chopped and ready to be souped up
We had the soup for dinner. It doesn't sound like a substantial meal but the younger offspring and I had stopped off for lunch at a Chinese restaurant on Parnell St East. Anyway, the soup was very tasty. The spouse commented on the garlicky tang and the walnuts. I liked the texture the roughly ground nuts gave to the soup. Another one on the make-again list. Oh yes, the child was noncommittal.

Bee is for Banville 

Earlier today I finished reading Vengeance by Benjamin Black. I have really enjoyed the quirky Quirke books with their depiction of the 1950s' Dublin as a claustrophobic and secretive place. Bees make their presence felt, of course. In an early scene, a wireless is on and a voice says:
The dance of the drones ... is thought to be a system by which returning bees direct their fellow-workers to the richest source of pollen in the vicinity of the hive. Bees will travel for distances of as much as --

Later on, the sunlight falling on chimney pots is described as a "matt, honey-coloured haze." In another scene one of the villains recounts how he bought a jar of honey "with bumble bees drowned in it." Towards the end of the story an accomplice to a murder says to Quirke:

And now I'm going to settle down. I might work the land, you know... I could keep cattle, sheep. And bees, I'd like to have bees. There were hives here once, ... I remember them. 
So there you have it. Bee is for time for me to buzz off.



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