Go together like pie and beer, as it turns out. Last night the adults in the Chalmers household went into town and had a gorgeous dinner at the Five and Ten. It was a cool, almost fall-like evening, and the restaurant was air-conditioned within an inch, but I couldn't resist ordering the watermelon and feta, a combination I'd been reading about for a couple months on the Chowhound Home Cooking board, where people have been discussing Nigella's version with black olives and parsley and whatnot. Hugh Acheson's salad was so much better than hers sounds. Try this at home: Layer, Napoleon-like, 1/4-inch-thick slabs of sweet seedless watermelon with slabs of French feta and handfuls of baby arugula tossed in a lemon(grass?) emulsion (I think that's what it was; it was lemony and it was emulsified), sprinkle the whole thing with thinly sliced serrano chiles, and top the stack with a thin curl of spicy and very tangy pickled watermelon rind—just the white part. It was an amazing salad. As Mr. Chalmers said, between bites you forget it's going to be weird.
We also had brilliant briny oysters on the half shell. And pan-roasted mahi-mahi with black rice and a cucumber-scallion pickle; and Copper River salmon with creamy barley and perfectly ripe tomatoes and basil. I drank a very good, very bitter Negroni, and then a pale rosé. After dinner we met a friend at Aroma, the fancy coffee shop and bar across the street, and talked about road trips. Why the Chalmerses ever go out to restaurants or bars without a pocket atlas I don't know, because we always end up wanting to consult one.
The bug, meanwhile, had a fine time at home in Carlton except that her new friend the babysitter had to take her out to the car and strap her into her seat to get her to fall asleep. It apparently worked, though, because she was only up once last night after that. This morning she's alert and happy as she tries to put a flat sauce whisk into her mouth.