Saturday, July 31, 2010


Before kids, my husband and I traveled to South Africa; on one of our safaris, a tardy British couple had to run after our large ATV in order to keep from being left behind. Once onboard, we all chatted quietly, while keeping our eyes peeled for wildebeests, wild dogs and elephants. Since the couple had only just arrived in South Africa and we’d been in the country for longer, the very proper British elderly lady questioned us on various issues in her high pitched tone of voice. Finally she asked about the mosquito situation. (Prior to traveling abroad, we’d had to get painful preventative malaria shots and were repeatedly warned to bring potent DEET insect repellant.) So in response to the woman’s question, my husband responded, “We’ve been in Africa for two whole weeks and haven’t seen a single mosquito!” The woman responded with relieved laughter and then screeched, “Brilliant, simply BRILLIANT!”

Eight years after our trip, my husband and I can still make each other smile by uttering the phrase, “Brilliant, simply BRILLIANT!” (Yes, you had to be there, but just imagine those words being uttered at soprano pitch in the middle of an African jungle.)
Last night I did a few things that were “Brilliant, simply BRILLIANT!”

We’ve been eating a lot of farmers market corn on the cob lately. And while doing so, 2-year-olds and 5-year-olds make gigantic messes of corn all over the kitchen floor. So last night, we ate outside on the deck! The whole mess went on the floor of our deck…and then I just swept it between the cracks! Why didn’t I think of that earlier? Brilliant!

Secondly, I needed something super quick to go with the corn. Checking the pantry, I found some Trader Joes canned trout fillets in olive oil. I lifted the fillets out of the oil and flaked it, added some of our fresh chives and then scraped in a few kernels of the sweet corn; after a twist of ground pepper, it was served on slices of French bread. The sweet corn and herbal chives made the trout tasted even sweeter.  
Beautiful, irregular rind
And the oil from the fish provided just enough moisture to keep the salad from tumbling off bread. The girls ate it up along with their corn on the cob and the sweetest, musky canteloupe from the farmers' market. Simple, tasty and “Brilliant!” 
Lastly, I just learned this trick from my frugal neighbor: Once you finish the last pickle in the jar, stuff the jar with fresh cucumber or zucchini slices and refrigerate for a couple hours. Voila, the easiest pickles ever. And they were delicious with our Sweet Corn and Trout Crostini! “Brilliant!

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