I was engrossed in Chicago John’s Bartolini Kitchens. In the last few weeks he’s posted so many things that were driving my taste buds wild, and in the back of my mind a little list was beginning to accumulate new reasons for looking forward to being back in Australia – burrata in particular, so I could try out his Lemon, Burrata and Spinach pasta, and Toni’s Beets and Burrata Salad. I noticed I was bent at the waist, nose almost pressed to the screen. It was four o’clock in the afternoon, and almost dark.
The bamboos were dancing erratically, and heavy raindrops began splashing to the ground – there was a whiff of that pungent scent of the earth exhaling pent-up heat and dry dirt. Small overflows from the gutters sent the bamboos juddering even more, heavy water droplets sliding down twiggy branchlets.
I wasn’t convinced, and came back to read about home-made ricotta – one of my favourite things on earth. I didn’t see the lightning. Just the shock of it leaping from the computer through the palm of my hand before a deafening and discordant gunshot/whip crack/rattle/bang of thunder made me yelp in alarm. I quickly unplugged the computer and sat, grateful for the sudden chill, as a couple more clouds collided overhead. And then they moved on. By 4.30 it was over.
Not a breath of air stirs the leaves – replete and, I’d swear, already more plump and greener than they were before. The farmer in me will never consent to call that rain – but the gardener? Well, Papa used to say 20 minutes of decent rainfall will take water down past parched roots to pool in rootballs, so I’m a happy gardener tonight – I’d say most things fared better than they would have if I’d been down there wielding the hose.