There is still a good month left to this summer. We are finally getting rain in this part of the Midwest. Thunder and lightning wake me in the middle of the night. Thunder roars differently out here, I think. Something with big meaty fists pounds our roof and then rolls away slowly, clumsily over its knuckles, glaring at me over its fat shoulder.
It snorts-Take that, Jersey Girl.
Lightning is fantastic in the big, big sky. In an instant and without warning, white fills my eyelids like a camera’s flash, transports me right out of a dream and back into the blackness of 3 am. Hopefully all this rain hasn’t come too late for the farmers who are relying on their corn crops. After living here now for two years and reading the local papers, this is what I think about. Maybe the farmers actually sleep better to the sounds of a storm.
Amid all the heavy roar and sharp cracks outside my window, I begin to drift off again. There’s an old farm house out here somewhere waiting for me. There’s a hot, orange sun beginning to set over a field, a wrap-around porch painted white wearing pots of lush ferns like earrings, a brightly-colored woven hammock sways gently in the corner. And just outside a squeaky front gate, there’s a country road that goes on and on.
In the meantime, there is our apartment, a hub this summer for all our coming and going. A place to hang up damp bathing suits and pool towels, a place to drop off the bass guitar after lessons and a dusty baseball bag after a night game under the lights. An almost too big table that just fits on an almost too small back deck where we share our summer supper. Where I notice the dirt still lingering beneath small fingernails and think to myself – Another good day.
A place for me to write, a place for my books and shelves for my cookbooks and food magazines. A place to make a quick, small meal last night, that-turns out- has big flavor.
It begins with pasta – small penne cooked al dente then tossed with bite-size pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and juicy tomatoes all from the garden – chopped. A clove of garlic from the farmers’ market – minced, a bit of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil.
Summer in a bowl.
Recipe adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis