>keeping cool

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The fridge is among us, and it it mighty. The outside kitchen is effectively a shrine to the fridge now, since it dominates the entire space with its cold, white authority. baki munches on ice cubes, i drink cold water until i get a headache, you get the idea. i am very happy to have it, and the rearranging that we have done in the wake of its arrival has made the kitchen feel more kitcheny. the cupboard that we used to use as a fridge is next to the kitchen now, and serves as a sort of pantry.
all cooking activity has moved outside; as i write this, i am canning tomatoes! there is a nice breeze, so it it not hot at all. unfortunately, there are also lots of flies enjoying the shade with me, so i end up doing a little dance as i stand by the stove.
baki is coping with the heat with his usual grace, and has just gotten into his bucket:

summer is basil weather, and although many things do not work out the way i want them to in the garden, i have to say that i get great satisfaction from my basil and shiso bed by the kitchen:

that is chaste tree looming over them. i originally wanted to plant shiso so that i could make my own umeboshi plums, but since i have not actually procured the necessary fruit tree yet (prunus mume, one of my all time favorite botanical names), i am using the leaves in salad for the time being. some neighbors came by the other day with huge sacks of vegetables from their garden and the wife was very interested in the shiso (interestingly, basil is very popular here and everyone grows it. my neighbor said she uses it with eggplant). i told her to taste it, and if she liked it i could give her seeds. her face contorted in distaste when she ate it, though. i like the flavor, myself.

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