Kage Baker adored Slurpees. There are all sorts of crushed ice and sugar syrup drinks out there, of course – all manner of Icees and Frostees and such. They were all drinkable in hot weather, but the King of iced drinks all was, to Kage, the 7-11 Slurpee.
Her favourites were Cherry and Coke; or, best of all, those two combined. And they were always perfect. The ice was just the right texture. It melted and released the syrup up the straw at just the right speed. It always dyed one’s tongue an unnatural colour; which, averred Kage, meant the flavours were really strong and pure.
Of course, this piece of logic dates from about her 14th year, so take it with a grain of salt. But there is no denying that nothing dyes your tongue green or red or purple or blue like a Slurpee.
And today is Slurpee Day! I have actually no idea if anyone else marks this occasion, but it wouldn’t surprise me. It’s 7-11, after all. and it’s fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk hot, which makes it even better weather for a giant, gently sweating Slurpee. With maybe the latest cartoon movie hero on the side … which would be Spiderman, right now, I guess. Hell, I wouldn’t care if it was Ghengis Khan, if it was a large cherry Slurpee.
It still seems to be cooler where I am than most anywhere else in the country – but that’s not much to say, when it’s 105 in the San Fernando Valley. Or 120 in Las Vegas, which one of my correspondents reports it was yestreday. But it did get into the 90’s here, and tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter. I am waiting for the temperature readout on Weatherbug to turn scarlet and start pulsing like Sauron’s eye, which is what it does when it hits 100. Kage always liked that.
It’s a cold pasta salad night here, too. Kimberly has an uncanny talent for producing pasta salads that are simply divine. I think she’s planning on a BLT one tonight – bacon, fresh tomatoes from the garden, crispy bits of celery and Romaine lettuce – all tossed with elbow macaroni and some amazing dressing based on Miracle Whip … served cold, cold, cold. With watermelon for dessert.
It’s wonderful, when the heat finally dies down enough to let one contemplate dinner, to have something so very worthwhile to eat.
Pasta salads are not my forte, but I make grand green salads. I used to tempt Kage in the heat with all manner of dinner salads – field greens, fancy lettuces, savoury leaves all shades of emerald and ruby. Endives, cresses, butter and bibb and romaine lettuce; raddichio and escarole and lollo rosso. I’d braise a chicken breast in soy and honey and shred it up; add julienne beets and walnuts and toss it all with sweet Balsamic vinegar and oil … ah, those were good dinners! Kage would even ignore the fact that it was all actually good for her.
As long as there was a Slurpee on the side.