I’m assuming I’m not the only one who’s noticed the extreme proliferation of Food Commemoration Days, like “National Pancake Day” or “National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day” or “National Mung Bean Day.”

Perhaps you too are annoyed by this proliferation, unless you’re one of the many in the pocket of Big Mung Bean.  While I don’t begrudge anyone a food-related celebration and I enjoy observing “National Turkey and Swiss on Rye, No Mayo Day” as much as the next gal, it’s a little tiring.

I’ve always had a problem with authority, and I don’t like being told I have to eat caramel just because it’s April 5th; it takes all the fun out of caramel, which is sad indeed. Thus, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and declare each day “National <Whatever I’m Making for Dinner Tonight> Day.” If others decline to participate, they will be publicly shamed.


So happy “National Honeydew Gazpacho and Fiery Shrimp from Home Cooking with Jean-Georges Day”! Oh, did you not get the memo? So sorry. Enjoy your leftover gruel while the cool kids are out on the deck enjoying a pre-gazpacho martini.

And yes, I am aware that photos of melon innards tend to be a bit suggestive, but this has never been a family blog. I wonder how long it will take a Georgia Republican to stumble across this picture and introduce a bill in the Georgia House mandating a 24-hour waiting period followed by a lecture on how each seed is really a baby melon before I can scrape out the gunk? Although maybe they don’t legislate during Holy Week, so I’m safe.


(It doesn’t matter either way, because the melon and I are in NEW JERSEY, widely known to be the King of States although we’re currently being held hostage by a “Chris Christie.” We have top men working on a way out of this mess, and once they catch the unicorn and smelt its horn into a bullet, we should be good to go.)

The honeydew got a thorough D&C, and I hacked it up and tossed it into the blender with half a cuke, a small fennel bulb, some celery and a few de-seeded jalapeños.


The resulting vegetable slurry was forced through a strainer and then hit with lime juice, sugar, salt and a third minced jalapeño that was supposed to be a Thai chile. Because TNS is a deeply patriotic blog, we will no longer be using foreign produce if home-grown produce can do the job.* Also, around here we call jalapeños “Limited Government Chiles.” “Jalapeño” sounds suspiciously South of the Border.

Actually, I was exhibiting another deep-seated American value, “Doing Only the Acceptable Minimum,” and didn’t want to schlep to a Whole Foods to buy Thai chiles when perfectly serviceable jalapeños can be delivered to my doorstep.

*I made an exception for the English cucumber out of respect for the deeply loving (and sexually charged) relationship enjoyed by George W. Bush and Tony Blair.

i'm not a shrimp, i am a KING PRAWN

While the gazpacho chilled and its flavors melded (but not in a gay way or anything), I peeled some shrimp and tossed them with salt, crushed red pepper flake and a fine chiffonade of fresh mint. I bought colossal shrimp, as any real American would, because 41-50 count shrimp are for illegal aliens and communist sympathizers.

(Don’t even get me started on rock shrimp.)

The shrimp were supposed to be quickly grilled, which I believe is some kind of metaphor for Manifest Destiny wherein man tames fire the way the pioneers tamed the Wild West and is thus the only Tea Party-approved cooking method.* But I hate dealing with starting a fire to cook something that will only be over the heat for 0.4 seconds as much as I hate the Tea Party, so I seared them quickly in a cast iron pan instead.

*I’m not entirely sure what the shrimp represent; maybe the barbaric Chinaman before he found Jesus and decided to build our railroads? Your guess is as good as mine.


The now-cold gazpacho got a drizzle of good olive oil and a mint garnish, and went onto a plate with some still-steaming shrimp.


And behold! Bipartisan compromise on a plate! The cool, refreshing, sweet-but-astringent soup! The hot, spicy, subtle brininess of the shrimp! Brought together in a harmonious whole!

Okay, I got a little carried away there, because we all know that real bipartisan compromise is only a theoretical possibility, like trying to pin down the precise location of an atom. If Congress were Schroedinger’s Cat, they’d be simultaneously in contention and compromise while in the box, but once you broke open the box they’d all scurry back to their offices to not-coordinate with their super PACs in the creation of vicious attack ads.

FYI, so as not to leave you out of the loop, I believe tomorrow is “National Grilled Meat of Your Choosing Day,” so don’t say I never helped you out.