eindeloze zomer.

Usually a week without a post is not the best of signs around here, but...but but but. Sometimes it's completely innocent inadvertence (actually a word). Really!


This week's silence is certainly not for a lack of potential content: we've enjoyed an unusually relentless succession of dinner guests over the past week, kicked off by the Korean session documented below on Wednesday with Andy, Emma, and Doug; lahmacun and Scrabble (followed by late-night peanut butter and ginger marmalade sandwiches) with professional, tournament-class Scrabbler Doug on Friday (I lost); Indian Iron Chef (and Scrabble) challenge with Phil on a long, pleasant Saturday.

Saturday's dinner became a challenge only after I discovered that one of my frozen salmon filets hadn't actually been frozen until what must have been weeks after it had been caught: extremely gross.

So I had to come up with some emergency backup plans using what was in the pantry, which ended up being some kind of dhansak-ish dish with urad dal; a saag paneer without paneer; raita; melon for dessert. Not bad for someone who doesn't make Indian food very often, though it may be my all-time favorite cuisine. Why don't I make it at home? Butter.

Then on Sunday, an unplanned dinner with Andy: he made a Thai coconut milk and beef soup, I made Vietnamese catfish in caramel sauce (Ca Kho To), which I'll do a full post on soon, because it's excellent, but I want to make it one more time first. And then last night lahmacun again with Doug and Mara.


Before my unexpected Indian Iron Chef, I went to the beach. Yay! My plan was to get there early, before the crowds, hang out for a couple hours, have lunch, and then hightail it back here to meet Phil at 16:00. My timing was superb. These pictures were taken at 11:00 am:

I have never ever seen IJMuiderstrand look anything like this. Have you? It was incredible, hoor! There were maybe 20 people on the whole beach until 1pm or so. At which point I had lunch, a beautiful plate of lightly dressed smoked salmon with capers and toast, and then I hopped on the bus, still amazed at my peaceful beach morning.


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