Last week I realized that our air conditioner wasn’t working. It took me almost a month to realize this. And then another week to accept the fact that I had to call our housing office and whine. I had many conversations with myself that went “Well, 88 degrees isn’t that hot” and “I guess I can go without turning the oven on and drying clothes…”
Well I finally broke this past weekend. I completely flipped out because I WAS SWEATING WHILE WEARING A DRESS AND SITTING ON MY BUTT. And, of course, since it was the weekend so the housing office was closed.
Monday I got ahold of them and the guy came out to look at it. He called me out to the backyard where this super clear exchange took place:
Him: “Look at this.” *points to block of ice in the a/c*
Him: “You need to change the filter every 30 days.”
Me: “But you keep it locked.”
Him: “We change it for you.”
Me: “But… you didn’t…?”
Him: “Yeah, you need to change it every 30 days.”
Him: “I’ll be back later.”
And then he never came back.
The good news is that the a/c is now working. The bad news is it’s looking like we’ll be going through this exact scenario next summer since I’m still not clear who the heck is supposed to change the filter.
I made this salad that day because the air had to be completely turned off and I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen. This fit the bill and was super refreshing. I don’t love fresh tomatoes, cucumbers make me gag, and mint makes me want to brush my teeth but if you cover everything in lemon juice and throw in some feta, I apparently love all of it! I just finished up the leftovers yesterday and I’m pretty sad about it. I see myself making this again and again through the summer.
(My anxiety over calling housing is not limited to a/c issues – earlier this year I went 3 months without light in my kitchen.)
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes quartered
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 scallions white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 hothouse cucumber halved lengthwise, seeded, and ½-inch diced
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbs minced garlic
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 5 ounces feta cheese broken into chunks if necessary
Place the quartered tomatoes in a mesh strainer and gently toss with ½ teaspoon of salt. Allow to drain 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil.
Spin the tomatoes in a salad spinner several times to remove seeds and moisture. (or rinse and drain well). Toss the tomatoes with the scallions, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, mint, and basil in a large bowl. Give the dressing one more whisk before pouring over salad. Toss gently to coat. Add the feta and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve cold or at room temperature.