I figured out what the panoramic setting on my phone's camera is for.
You guys, we're back. The sun is white-hot in the Caribbean. French St Martin is français deluxe, like the actual opposite of San Juan. In San Juan, bakery clerks & hotel concierges say "Hola," & can't go the distance. In St Martin, if you meet "Bonjour" with "Ça va" you are on full engagement. The first time it happened to us, I was stunned, just thrashed. ("Omg, did that just happen?" "Honey, you did great!") But it was fine, too, if I smiled blandly while Mari said, Je ne comprends pas & he stayed in charge of interfacing, englishly. I didn't get married so I could be talking to strangers all the time, you know.
I ate a stupidly-delicious mango I bought at the marche in Marigot. I was kind of eyerolly about how the woman charged me us$2.50 when the supermkt had local mangoes for us$1 but ok bc I asked her (by myself! frenchily!) to give me one which was ripe & ready to eat.
All was forgiven when I got it open back in our room. All previously-disdained mangoes are to this mango as those horrible Florida blueberries I threw away two weeks ago are to all the bluets of the July Garden State. Plus the three more local-from-the-supermkt mangoes I ate. I know! My antipathy toward the mango is reknowned, but there it is. Local food all over the globe, egads.
The Dutch side of the island is the Wild, Wild West Indies, for real. Omg but we loved all of it. Every minute, no kids, a splendor.
Marvin Gaye has that lyric -- Since we've got to be here, let's live. I love you -- I think abt it a lot this summer, like, fuck it, you know? Let's live and stay alive with the people right in our faces in the dirt with us every day bc the rest of us -- far-flung & fondly-remembered -- we were already there once, doing that at full-tilt, and going forward not one of us will live forever. (I love you.)
Be that as it may: there was an inquiry abt Israeli salad. Well, mostly I follow the Israeli's sound counsel as reported here. So everything, which in this CSA-free summer is nothing weird but just tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, red onion, a bell pepper (if I have it), parsley (lots), with oregano & mint from the backyard. I never have almonds when I think I should, so in go toasted sesame seeds (not the bright-white ones, the dun ones still with hulls). Then lemon, olive oil, salt & pepper, za'atar and sumac. I layer it on a bed of endive or whatever with olives & feta alongside.
One time I used toasted walnuts -- too rich! Same with using plum tomatoes! Plum tomatoes could work with way more cucumbers. I would change the ratio to be 2/3 again more cucumbers with plum tomatoes. I didn't see a fix for the walnuts. Remember how everything tastes better when a man cooks it for you & set yr expectations accordingly.
Put a scrambled egg by it & call it shakshuka, ahahaha! Bonne chance xoxox