Heraclitus Was Right

Heraclitus was the ancient Greek who wrote “you can’t step into the same river twice.”   On the money!

I rented the same adorable, quirky house in Bucks County as last year when the whole thing was blissful perfection.  Although the house remains adorable and quirky this year’s experience had a few bumps. On day two I launched my rented car into the gully at the side of the ‘challenging’ driveway requiring a visit from AAA.

Car in gully

It took the (very unpleasant) AAA guy an hour to extricate it. In addition, I suspect Avis will not be thrilled with the damage to the front right fender. On the plus side, the car emerged drivable and no one was hurt.

Last year was bug-free. This time something—not a simple mosquito—fed all over me. Four days later the itching subsided.

All my electronics worked except my laptop which refused to hold the Wi-Fi signal.

However, these were minor matters. My houseguests were delightful as were many adventures. There was a painting-and-pottery show at which guest #1, a pottery devotee, admired the work and chatted with the potter. Guest #2 and I went to the Moravian Tile & Pottery Works on the National Registry of Historic Places and had a great time seeing the place, learning about the founder, Henry Chapman Mercer, and meeting a young tile-maker who demo-d some of the processes.

A demo at the tile works

I connected for lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen for years. The produce stands were great; I ate some of the best corn ever. Frenchtown, just across the Delaware, remains entertaining if crowded on weekends. Older daughter and her partner came for Labor Day weekend which included a visit to the Stover Grist Mill open only once a year for tours; a mini-hike; dinner at Caleb’s American Kitchen, an excellent restaurant in the ‘hood, and Scrabble.

To my mind, a caprese sandwich when tomatoes are really good spells summer (OK, end of summer.) Note: The pesto called for isn’t classic pesto; it’s what the recipe creators call “creamy basil sauce.”  Real pesto—homemade or bought would be fine as well and especially great if you’re anti-mayo.


Caprese Sandwich – courtesy Cookie and Kate

1 baguette (16 ounces) or any good, sturdy bread you have (personally I like sourdough)

1 tablespoon thick balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ cups arugula

 8 oz mozzarella

2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds

Flaky sea salt or kosher salt

Creamy basil sauce (this makes extra

1 small or ½ medium clove garlic, roughly chopped (not for me)

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup (1 ounce) lightly packed fresh basil

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

C and K begin by toasting bread which isn’t necessary to my mind.

To make basil sauce they suggest using a food processor. I concur but a mini chop would also work. As written it makes about ¾ cup. Leftover sauce is great on raw veggies.

To assemble the sandwiches, lightly drizzle balsamic and olive oil over half of the cut sides of bread. Layer some arugula on top, then weigh it down with rounds of mozzarella.

Top with the sliced tomato, then sprinkle the tomato lightly with flaky salt.  Spread the basil sauce generously over the cut side of the remaining slices of bread. Place them face down over the tomatoes. Serve or take on an end-of-summer picnic. Hum something Italian and maybe pour rosé wine if it’s a dinner or especially celebratory lunch.

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