when it rains, it pours

Last night, we sat in the garden while the chicken cooked on the barbecue, sighing with relief that there was a bit of a breeze. It has been so hot this summer! But with the days getting shorter, we tried to tell ourselves that the heat doesn’t seem quite so horrible.

T basted the chicken with a hoisin sauce, tomato paste, ginger, garlic mixture. And he poured cornbread batter into the castiron frying pan that had been on the grill to preheat. Yes, you can cook cornbread on the barbecue! (We tried it a couple of nights ago. It was pretty brilliant, although a bit crumbly. Then suddenly we realized why it was crumbly. It had nothing to do with the barbecue! We had forgotten to put the egg into the batter….) And we sat as our dinner cooked. And were serenaded by the summer orchestra of crickets and cicadas and gentle voices in nearby backyards. But my my my, it really is much darker around 19:30 in August, isn’t it?

But no, wait, it wasn’t getting dark because of earlier nightfall. There was a decided cloud cover overhead. A slate grey cloud cover. And then we heard thunder way in the distance. And then it got lighter. Much much lighter. Oh oh. That means big time rain. But we looked up and saw that the slate grey clouds were being chased away leaving clear blue sky. Are we lucky, or what?!

T turned the cornbread over to make sure it was done. Yes. Inside it went and we sat for a few minutes more as the chicken finished cooking. T went back inside to get a platter. And I heard the ominous sound of pitter patter of rain on the canopy of leaves overhead. Even though the sky was blue. I ran in to get my umbrella. And we stood side by side beside the barbecue under our big blue umbrella, laughing and listening to the first sounds of actual rain hit the cloth and sizzle as it hit the barbecue in places that the umbrella couldn’t protect. But in a few minutes, the chicken was done and placed on the platter.

We went inside to put water on for green beans and just as we got inside, the heavens opened in earnest. The rain sheeted down, bouncing on the patio. But we were warm (rats, is it NEVER going to cool down??) , dry and happy, eating our barbecued chicken, cornbread, steamed greenbeans with just a touch of dill and drinking a decent sangiovese. And wild blueberry pie for dessert. So who cares if it pours?

We first experienced that sound of rain on leaves before actually feeling any drops when we were camping in Maine in July 2000. And the second time was on 4 July 2000.