What The Thunder Said

Our muggy heat broke rather dramatically this evening with a torrential downpour, accompanied by rollicking summer thunder. The rain was perfectly timed, coming as it did on the heels of several very hot days, and we’ll sleep better tonight as a result of the front’s passage. Such meteorological benedictions were sufficient to inspire me to actually cook something, though the cooking part was mercifully short. Most of the time was spent rolling out fettucine.

We’re lucky to live on a nice little road that is a lot like Sesame Street in terms of its child-friendliness, so when I realized that we had no eggs–right after dumping a bunch of flour in a bowl–I sent our small child to the neighbors’ house to ask for a couple of eggs. He came back a few minutes later, saying that they hadn’t had any so he just went to the next neighbors and got two eggs from them. Cute and smart–I may just keep him after all. I sent him back with a thank you zucchini, and once again thought about getting some chickens.

We mixed eggs and flour together, gave it a quick knead, and let the dough sit for a bit while we picked another zucchini (duh), salad, and basil for the sauce. Which was simple tomato and garlic, with chopped basil added periodically throughout its reduction and thickening to emphatically inflect the red purée with fat green flavor. (I find that adding basil in waves while a sauce cooks makes for a more complete and saturated basil flavor in the result). I sautéed the zucchini, sliced into rounds, in a bit of butter, then deglazed the pan with a drop of cider vinegar. I made a simple but ardently arresting vinaigrette of walnut oil, mustard, and sherry vinegar, and that was dinner.

There’s not much in the world that’s better than food like this, when the ingredients are perfect and the execution just gets out of their way. There were no leftovers.

7 comments to What The Thunder Said

  • Pam

    I like the idea of infusing the basil throughout!

  • fastgrowtheweeds.com

    Chickens are easy.

    See, I am glad you post meals like this one: often, I read what you eat and (besides getting hunger pangs) I am kind of filled with angst. I should be boiling those bones like you do to eke the last drop of flavor…but I don't. But meals like this one? Okay.

  • Zoomie

    At this time of year, a zucchini is not a proper way to say thank you; it's a thinly-disguised attempt to foist excess zucchini on your neighbors.

  • Denise | Chez Danisse

    Very interesting, your basil waves. I'll try this. Thanks.

    Zoomie might have a point ; )

  • peter

    Pam: It really does make a difference.

    El: I know, it's a question of where exactly to put them, etc. And you don't boil all your bones?

    Zoomie: You are absolutely right, but they don't have a garden so they were happy.

    Denise: Let me know how it goes. And yes, see above.

  • Denise | Chez Danisse

    No garden? Oh, well, that changes everything. We don't have a garden right now and I'd love to see a neighbor heading toward my door with some squash. Seeking: One neighbor with surplus squash.

  • peter

    Doesn't Craigslist have a section for "seeking squash?"

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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