yogurt-less cucumber salad with mint

There are a lot of things I like about writing a blog. First off, it’s great to write to a group of people as though they were myself, because it makes the world and its opinions seem that much less scary. The blind, intoxicating courage I’ve fostered by writing about my private thoughts in a public venue has definitely made me braver in my daily life.

That is the big picture, anyway. On a more intimate level — literally — my favorite thing about blogging is that I get to write in my underwear without anyone being the wiser. It makes me feel like I’m part of a grand literary tradition, like I’m in on some kind of secret, because seriously now, tell me Virginia Woolf didn’t write Orlando while clad in her skivvies! Tell me she didn’t look down at her pale, purplish knees and think: damn, those look like a boy’s knees! Tell me that the whole “Rooms” section of Tender Buttons wasn’t written while Gertrude Stein was lounging around in boxers. “Startling a starving husband is not disagreeable”, eh? I’ll tell you what’s startling: the image of modern literary heroes getting up in the morning, dry heaving away their hangovers, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed before facing the blank page. I mean, come on. No way! They shuffled to the desk in their Calvins to dream up brilliance, because no one was the wiser and it didn’t make any difference anyway.

And no, I’m not saying that I’m Virginia Woolf, I’m just saying that we all need to face facts: writing is something private, and underwear is something (mostly) private, and we need to start putting two and two together. Particularly since it’s August, and insanely hot outside. Why would I even think of putting on pants at a time like this? Even shorts and skirts seem stifling. Pardon me, but I’m sticking with Hanes for now. If that ruins your appetite, you should imagine me as a four-year-old running through a sprinkler. Imagine me snacking on cucumbers with my bare hands, too, because that’s pretty close to reality.

Better? Good.

Cool as a Cucumber Salad

-2 large cucumbers, chopped
-20 spearmint leaves from the Victory Garden, sliced into ribbons
-1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
-1 tsp honey
-1 tsp salt
-1 clove garlic, minced

Mix up everything except for the cucumbers so you have a nice, smooth sauce. Now toss in the cucumbers. See how easy it is to stay cool?


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