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Summer's here.

From Food

This week, my father-in-law phoned me just to ask if our air conditioning unit was installed, yet. When I told him it wasn’t, he sounded a little panicked. Today, Karl asked me the same question. We’ve received heat warnings for the past few days, and I’ve heard reports of elderly people having trouble breathing and so on. Thankfully that hasn’t been a problem, here: my husband and I managed to wrestle in our A/C unit a couple of days ago, and both we and the cat are glad of it. But there’s no A/C in the kitchen, and that means salad. I dressed this one with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. When you have a whole avocado in among the spinach, you don’t need much else. Well, aside from a chipotle tenderloin sandwich with guacamole on top.

My affection for avocados should never be underestimated. If I could plant one tree and be guaranteed that it would grow no matter what, I’d plant an avocado. I would be very fat, but my hair and skin and nails would gleam.

I also like mango:

From Food

That’s a bowl of sweet and sour pork with mango (mostly mango) over the brown rice I showed you earlier. The sauce is very simple: gochujang, raw apple cider vinegar, and honey. The proportions change each time I make it, so I won’t even bother trying to share the proper measurements. You’ll have to decide if you want something more spicy, acidic, or sweet, and blend accordingly. It’s a good idea to taste the gochujang on the tip of your finger or the edge of a spoon, first, so that you know how hot it is and what you’re working with. When I tried it, I was impressed with the mellow sweetness backing up the spice. Your mileage may vary.

I also made green tea concentrate. I have no photos of that, yet, since I’ve been so busy drinking it and dreaming up sake cocktails involving it that the glass is always empty before I think to bring out the camera. The 1 : 1 concentrate + water mix is the closest I’ve come to approximating Oi Ocha, my favourite drink from Japan. Japan has one of the widest selections of beverages on the planet, but once I made my way through some ume soda and canned whiskey, I found that the drinks I liked best there were the cold, unsweetened varieties of my favourites from home: coffee and green tea. I returned with a seemingly unquenchable thirst for these things. But now I can make the tea at home, and not buy those absurdly expensive bottles of the imported stuff. (The coffee is still a problem; some shops know what you mean when you say iced coffee, but others give you a sort of brownish liquid that tastes like thin birch syrup.)

Anyway, the point of all this is that I am in fact eating vegetables and drinking moderately healthy liquids in all this heat. You’d think this would result in pounds lost, but no. Just the other day, the woman who runs my favourite coffee shop asked if I was pregnant. She always asks this, every time I come in. “No, it’s just fat,” I say, pointing at my middle.

Those avocados. They’re lethal. And delicious.

  • Madeline Ashby… a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA. You can buy her books here.

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity,, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.

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    Madeline Ashby's books on Goodreads
    vN vN (The Machine Dynasty, #1)
    reviews: 342
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    Company Town Company Town
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    iD iD (The Machine Dynasty, #2)
    reviews: 73
    ratings: 439 (avg rating 3.66)

    Social Services Social Services
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    ratings: 10 (avg rating 3.50)

    A Clock Stopped A Clock Stopped
    reviews: 2
    ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.20)

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  • Madeline 's bookshelf: read

    Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (2nd Edition)Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways: To Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your CookingGluten-Free Girl and the ChefPeople Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection PoliciesHalf the Day Is NightThe Magicians

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