A long day. Up at 4, out the door by 5am, back home just in time for the 9 o’clock news. But a few new experiences in between:
At around 6:30 am, as I was hurtling down the highway toward Edmonton listening to Panic in Detroit, I saw a moose standing by the edge of the highway; a big guy with a massive felted rack, tapping a hoof onto the pavement like he was testing the water before getting in. I honked. He got spooked and backed off, then ran alongside the traffic for a bit. (How Canadian, eh?)
Later in the morning I was carrying 3 watermelons down Jasper Avenue in Edmonton and my pants fell down. Yes, I was, and they did. (A hidden camera moment if I’ve ever heard of one.) This is the problem with Spanx – their smooth shininess coupled with their ability to smooth out those rolls your pants normally hang on to, just enough for them to work their way down without you feeling them go. You really learn something about yourself and what interesting new muscles you’re capable of pulling when you’re responsible for the safekeeping of multiple melons. I might have been more mortified if I wasn’t so ecstatic that my pants actually fell down. I must be wasting away to nothing, right?
I had lunch (beef short ribs and phyllo-wrapped cheese with saskatoon compote) with someone I had never met, someone also guilty of photographing her food. Then I drove to Legal (pronounce it as if you were French) and met some fantastic people with a brilliant food product that I’ll tell you about tomorrow – tonight I’m just too bagged to even know where to begin.
Dinner was leftovers from this morning’s cooking segments on BT – grapes from the bag, chunks of melon, strawberries and watermelon salsa nestled in the cup holder scooped out with corn chips. Turns out finely chopped watermelon is a great addition to salsa – juicy, crunchy, slightly sweet; a refreshing contrast to the chilies, black beans, corn and spice. I ate in the car, driving in and out of rainstorms from Legal through Edmonton and back to Calgary. My favourite part – besides the fields full of hay bales we always refer to as whole-wheat marshmallows – is the sky.
For those of you who have not experienced an Alberta sky; well. How do I describe it and do it justice? A friend of mine moved here from Halifax to become a doctor, and she said that for 2 whole years she felt like she was being crushed by the sky. It’s just that big. This afternoon it was straight out of the Simpsons opening sequence – on my way home it looked like puddles of blue-gray watercolour paint dabbed with a wadded-up Kleenex. I couldn’t stop looking at it.
adapted from www.watermelon.org
1 19 oz. (540 mL) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kernel corn, drained
1/2 small purple onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. mild chili powder
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
2 cups finely chopped seedless watermelon
In a large bowl, stir together everything except the watermelon. Add watermelon and gently fold to combine. Chill for a few hours to allow the flavours to meld before serving.
Serves about 10.