|“Luncheon of the Boating Party,” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.|
1880-81. (The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.)
Copyright © Edward Riojas
First, however, a few art entrees.
|“The Crayfish Season Opens,”|
by Carl Larsson. 1897.
|“A Bigger Splash,” by David Hockney.|
1967. (The Tate, London)
David Hockney may not be your cup of iced tea, but this painting, “A Bigger Splash,” has fierce, mental staying power and I cannot help but think of a perfect Summer day when confronted by its pure color and simple shapes. The character of light and splash of white entices us to find a martini, which must certainly be just out of view, and leave behind our wet footprints.
|“Zuleika,” by John Singer Sargent.|
c. 1906. (Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, N.Y.)
John Singer Sargent supplies my last offering before we heat up the stove. Known for his oil portraits of the rich and famous, Sargent was also a prolific water-colorist and a master of the figurative landscape. His “Zuleika,” harkens to the Impressionists, and minimized brush strokes maximize the feel of dappled shade and a summer breeze. The form is ambiguous to the point that we are left wondering if the figure is reading a book, or dozing. Perhaps it is a bit of both. Either way, the cares of life have been put aside, if only for a season.
Summer has a way of putting us at ease, and we devour the long days and the warmth they offer. Autumn will come in its own time and usher in different colors and flavors. But now it is summer, and it’s time for a bite.
Edward’s Killer Sandwich
Calories: Probably a lot less than that cheesecake you’ve been eying
This one just might convert the meat-eaters in your crowd. It’s packed with flavor, and it will fill you up without killing the diet. You can vary the ingredients a tad, but stay as close as you can to my ingredients. Above all, don’t cave in to the Philistine’s – avoid adding meat.
Olive oil focaccia bread
Havarti cheese, sliced
Artisan lettuce or fresh baby spinach
FRESH basil leaves, whole
Cut bread into sandwich-sized portions and slice horizontally to make matching halves. Liberally brush inside surfaces of bread with olive oil. Place bread on griddle. Use a water-filled tea kettle or some other weight to keep bread flat, and grill over medium heat, until deep golden brown.
Place cheese on one grilled half. Spread pesto and mayo (optional) on other grilled half. Layer remaining ingredients. Serve warm. Hint: If serving sandwich cooled and in an al fresco setting, keep ingredients separate until just before serving.