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The Beginning of Summer

April 10, 2011
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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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