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The Beginning of Summer

April 10, 2011

As far as I’m concerned, it is officially summer in Madrid. The past five days have been upwards of 25ºC (77ºF) and sunny.  When I say sunny, I mean not-a-single-cloud-in-the-sky, no-escaping-the-heat sunny.  So most days it feels considerably warmer than the listed temperature, and pretty much everyone suffers from heat-induced lethargy, a.k.a. never-ending siesta.

This also means that most people’s appetites are out of whack.  No one in their right mind feels like standing over a hot stove or turning on an oven, let alone eating a hot meal.  That’s why they invented cool bowls of gazpacho and refreshing salads, after all.  So what did I do?  Why, I decided to make pasta with meatballs, of course!

Let me back up.  First, I headed to Retiro Park, which is in full springtime bloom.

Then I rented a rowboat with a friend and rowed around the lake, in full sunshine, from 12 to 1.

When I got home,  my face significantly redder, I immediately started to throw together some meatballs with the ingredients I had on hand: ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, fresh parsley, oregano, sweet basil, salt, sherry vinegar, and all of our leftover parmesan cheese (minced, since we don’t have a grater).  I browned them in butter on the stove:

Once they were browned on both sides, I tossed them in a pot of simple tomato sauce (tomatoes, crushed garlic, red onion, and spices) to simmer.   And voilà, 35 very hot minutes later, I had absolutely no desire to eat anything.

But today, it’s slightly cooler outside, I just got back from a swim, and I’m hungry.

Leftovers, anyone?

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