Ohio June 23, 1998 This June has been the
wettest on record, they say (but so they seem to every year). Let's
face it: at that time when Wimbledon fortnight and the Lords Text Match
roll around, there is always a certain amount of precipitation in the
air, and we'd be surprised if not disappointed if it were anyway else.
And in any case, we in England are apt to get somewhat obsessed and
inward looking about our weather, forgetting for the moment sometimes
that the sun is not always shining elsewhere.
returned, for example, from a week spent first in Cambridge, Mass with
family, followed by a few days in the Midwest. It was my first trip
back to Ohio since I graduated from Kenyon
College way back in, well, it is so long ago that I forget the year.
I was taking part in the Kenyon
Review Summer Writing program, giving a workshop to participants
on electronic publishing, as well as a reading and talk. Though I had
expected it to be hot, I was not prepared for the raw and extreme violence
of the weather: over 100 degrees by day, the sapping heat and humidity
building up with a vengeance that would break by early evening with
high winds, violent thunder and lightning, flooding and even tornados.
Gambier became a town under seige: we spent one afternoon helping to
sandbag a house, while the Kokosing River had burst its banks, nearby
bridges were washed out, and some 12 people in Knox County tragically
died over this brief period. It was a timely reminder that if in England
it is rarely bakingly hot in summer, neither is it ever savagely cold
in winter, and the extremes of climate that we suffer are considerably
less severe than most other parts of the world. Indeed, it was something
of a relief to return to the cool, grey, fresh weather of Devon once
visiting Michele in Cambridge, we sat out
in her garden on a steamy, city-heat evening and chilled out with a
deliciously fresh summer meal: first, in honour of Wimbledon, an apéritif
of Pimms, refreshing and packed full of fruit and sprigs of mint, then
a bowl of spaghetti served with this simple, pungent raw topping, followed
by steamed salmon with our favourite avodado
and cilantro salsa.
Spaghetti with Raw Tomato Sauce
1 lb spaghetti
1 lb vine-ripened
tomatoes, coarsely chopped
handful of fresh basil leaves, torn coarsely
of garlic, peeled, crushed and coarsley chopped
shallots, peeled and chopped
of celery, diced
extra virgin olive oil, prefarably Tuscan
best quality balsamic vinegar
freshly ground pepper
in a large mixing or serving bowl the chopped tomatoes, garlic, shallots,
torn basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Leave
for the flavours to ripen for at least an hour.
large pot of water and when boiling, add a tablespoon of salt. Add the
spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain and immediately add
to the large serving bowl containing the raw vegetable mixture. Toss
well and allow the heat from the pasta to just slightly cook the raw
sauce. Serve at once, without parmesean cheese, but with a generous
twist of coarse black pepper on each bowl.
suggestion: A fresh and pungent summer pasta like this needs a fruity
red wine with a slightly bitter bite: try a young, unoaked Barbera d'Asti,
Masi's Valpolicella Classico, or Donatella Cinelli Colombini's new release
Rosso di Montalcino.
© Marc & Kim Millon 2000
|QP New Media| |Kim's
Copyright © Marc and Kim Millon 2000