Invisible Pickles

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I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s been quite hot lately. Hot enough that it is actively unpleasant to spend much or any time cooking, which is unfortunate if you happen to do so for a living. These are days for methodically tidying the walk-in fridge, for bathing the salad more carefully than ever, or in extreme circumstances for staging a rodent infestation so your kitchen gets closed down and you can go to the park, or, once you’ve realised that it’s too hot there too, home. The problem is that you still have to make dinner. Cooking in the sense of heating things up was obviously out of the question, but I almost gave up on the idea of preparing food entirely and went to that Italian place down the road, with the windows wide open to the street and a good selection of wines by the glass; I would have done, if I hadn’t already been shopping, and bought

YELLOW CHERRIES, CUCUMBER, GOAT’S CHEESE + DILL

which I can’t, given the heat, really be bothered to expand into what is conventionally called a recipe. The goat’s cheese was a crumbly one very similar to feta and the cucumbers were the English crooked type which also, it should be said, pickle extremely well; having chopped them fairly haphazardly and added them to the stoned cherries, I seasoned them with enough coarse salt and good apple vinegar to almost constitute a pickle, along with a long slug of surprisingly expensive olive oil and some picked dill, gently turning the lot and then crumbling over the aforementioned crumbly cheese.

I suppose that is a recipe, if you squint, but I prefer to see it as merely one possible consequence of a too-hot day; I could instead have made a watermelon salad, eaten a Mr Whippy, or fallen in and out of a tumultuous love.

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