I had forgotten the scent of summer. The sweet green aroma of grass. The flowery, petal-pink whiffs of my mother’s garden. The thick, wet cloud smell that hovers in the air in the hour before it rains.
Matt and I moved into this apartment a year ago this week. That day, sweaty and exhausted, we paused after hours of moving heavy boxes up the stairs. The breeze blew through our open windows, bringing the aromas of sun-warmed brick and barbecued smoke. I remember inhaling and thinking, hey, this can be home.
Today it’s raining, and the scent of earth wafting through those same open windows is particularly intense. I’m watching lightning pierce the sky in a way that looks more like special effects in Hollywood than Reality, Cambridge, MA.
I’m going to make dinner in a few minutes.* It’s the same dinner I’ve made a few nights this week. It involves six things: Lettuce (arugula), asparagus (steamed), pecans (toasted), goat cheese (crumbled), and a vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil). I toss all that together in a big bowl, and top it with chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on) that I’ve roasted, let cool, and sliced. This is my favorite hot weather food. It tastes like summer.
*I made it. It was good.