Storms, dinner for one

We had the briefest of thunderstorms here this afternoon, but it was a good one. I love a huge, roiling, shaking, crazy the flashes of light, the deep, guttural rumbling which seems to emanate from both earth and sky simultaneously, the whoosh of the wind, the marathoning clouds racing by, dropping their water stores with an intense abandon. Growing up in the flatland that is SW Louisiana (and regularly visiting the neighboring flatlands of TX), I became used to watching magnificent storms with nary a visual obstacle in sight. You could look for miles it seemed, the lightning at an indiscernible distance, lighting up the plains and waterways in front of you. And often, these storms seemed to come out of nowhere. I can't tell you how many times one would whip up as we drove from Lake Charles to Houston, so vicious, deafening and blinding that we were forced to pull onto the highway's shoulder and wait it out.

I loved sitting outside on our covered porch during these tempests, gliding back and forth in a rocking chair as the wind and rain hurled past. I always wondered what the birds and squirrels were doing, where did they go? did the fish in the bayou notice much? did any part of the natural world feel fear or angst, or was such an event simply part and parcel of a life lived outside?

In any case, though DC is hilly and storms here often mean that you might (will probably!) A) lose power, B) go bananas in traffic because drivers seem to freak out(!) in any sort of precipitation, and/or C) leave your home after the storm subsides to find large tree limbs through your car windshield, I still enjoy these squalls. They remind me of home. They remind me that I am really not, at that moment, in charge at all. They make me stop and just be. And I'll take all moments like that that I can. ~~ On another note completely, dinner!

I was craving carbs like it was my job but really felt I simply MUST use up some of the produce threatening to overtake my fridge. So. I made a whole wheat flatbread crust into which I rolled some freshly ground aniseed and grated pecorino and topped with grilled Brussels sprouts, a grilled Italian sausage, more pecorino and a fair amount of olive oil. My side was the most delicious watermelon I've tasted this summer! Can I just say that this was very satisfying?? B. sprouts and Italian sausage are nice together. Really nice! I tossed the sprouts with lemon zest, a slivered clove of garlic, olive oil and salt. Grilled, these would be delicious on their own, but really were delightful on this flatbread. We buy these sausages from Cibola Farms at the Dupont Farmers Market. Tom thinks they are the bomb, and I, a girl who isn't a big fan of pork, have to agree that the Sweet Italian variety is the cat's meow.

In news from the home front, I bought Jack the most adorable three-piece seersucker suit because it finally went on sale, and he looks so darling I can't stand it, and he is SO proud of it, and I hope my sister says he can wear it to her wedding. Oliver, meanwhile, decided to wear a pair of Iris Apfel-like sunglasses all day and call them his "disguise." He finally received the neon orange crocs - a la Mario B- for which he's been pining and literally would not take them off until bathtime. They are pretty funny, those two.