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A Seasonal Summer Side and Read for Your Next Vacation

Plus, a can't miss show about African American cuisine.
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If you've been following the news, you already know I spent my weekend drenched in sweat and generally trying to keep myself and my animals cool. On Saturday, Portland hit an all-time record for the hottest it's ever been at 108° F, which was promptly beat on Sunday by 110° F (normal for, say, Phoenix but nuts for one of the least air-conditioned cities in the country). Jonah's mom was visiting us this weekend and her timing was uncanny—the last time she was in town, her flight kept getting delayed due to a freak snow storm—but we went swimming on Saturday, took lots of cold showers, and spent most of Sunday playing Wingspan next to a fan. Remind me to invest in a kiddie pool for next summer... here are a few things I loved this week:

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It only took me one plane ride to read Taylor Jenkins Reid's Malibu Rising, which is everything I've ever wanted from a beach or vacation book. Set between the '50s and '80s against a fast-changing Malibu, the Riva siblings grew up under the shadow of their absentee rockstar father, Mick Riva. The book leads up to the annual party the Rivas throw each year, which has expanded from a surfer bonfire to a star-studded party of the year, with flashbacks to their childhoods—all leading up to the moment teased in the prologue of Malibu lighting on fire. Reid's love of music is clear, as is her mastery of historical fiction (she also wrote Daisy Jones & the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo). Reading about Malibu, with its recognizable locations of Zuma Beach and Point Dume, is also a treat, whether you grew up there or have always dreamed of going.

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I've never loved watching food shows—the frustration of not being able to eat the food I'm seeing feels more torturous than entertaining. But when Magogodi mentioned the Netflix show "High on the Hog" in her beautiful post about Juneteenth, it immediately became clear that what she was recommending was a sorely overdue show about much more than food. The four-episode Netflix series explores the history of African American cuisine in America, from the ingredients, like okra, brought over by enslaved people, to West and Central African influences on dishes like macaroni and cheese, and other pervasive influences of Black Southern cuisine that most people are unaware of. Because it is much more fun to eat while watching a food show, be sure to pick up Jessica B. Harris's The Africa Cookbook (the show is based on Harris's book of the same title) and, one of my favorite cookbooks, Jubilee by Toni Tipton-Martin.

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Blink and you'll miss fava bean season, which we're at the tail-end of now, depending on where you live. This week, Jonah and I got a boatload of them from our CSA, and spent an afternoon de-podding and shelling the waxy layer on each bean. From there, we blanched them in boiling water for just under 2 minutes, and added the juice of one lemon, shaved Parmesan, olive oil, and flaky sea salt for a delicious and easy summer side! Consider serving with a nice chianti. 😉

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1. Hot tip from a reader (thank you, M!) in the feedback form, "If you like books with zingers, check out Sloane Crosley's [essay] collections, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, How Did You Get This Number, & Look Alive Out There. I've screen shot-ed so many [quotes from them]! (And I am not a short story person generally, but these are just so good.)"

2. A reader recommended Erin French's Shallot Vinaigrette over Instagram—and it was too good not to pass along here!

3. Our former intern Nathalie gave me one of my favorite tees, "Smash the garlic and the patriarchy" years ago—and it's on sale today! 

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