It started some time in the night. A gentle whisper at first, like applause after the first movement; tentative, unsure whether it should.
At first I thought it was just the whirring fan, left on to move some air around. That's all it was doing, it wasn't cooling anything. Then the whisper got louder and I knew it was rain. It got heavier and it rained all the rest of the night and it was drumming down when I went out to get the paper in the morning at seven o'clock. I got wet and didn't care.
But it was still warm. It will be humid today. At least the weather bureau has lowered tomorrow's top temperature expectation from 38 to 32. It was forty a few days ago and the house is still hot. I opened a wardrobe last night and it was like opening an oven door. Cupboards are always the last places to cool down.
We had a late dinner, probably around nine o'clock. We sat outside in the warmth and the fading light. We heard the playful bark of dogs two houses away and behind that the distant rumble of trams. Pink and orange clouds were moving in from the south, slowly.
Fettucine pesto with chicken, avocado and snow peas.
An old favourite. This can be spare and healthful or you can ramp up the taste and the calories with cream. Either way it's delicious.
Cut a chicken breast or a couple of thigh fillets into roughly one inch cubes. Place these in a lidded pan over a little oil and a chopped clove of garlic. Lay strips of red capsicum and slices of avocado over the chicken. Add two tablespoons of white wine. Poach very, very gently. It won't take long, maybe five minutes. The chicken will poach, the capsicum will steam and the avocado will warm through. It will all be very fragrant.
Meanwile, cook the pasta. Right now I'm using a nice robust toothy fettucine. La Triestina is good. Add some florets of broccoli towards the end of the cooking time and then some snow peas just before you drain the water.
Drain and return the pasta and vegetables to the pot. Stir through some pesto. Transfer to plates or serving platter. Arrange chicken, capsicum and avocado pieces on pasta. If using cream, add this to the pan juices and reduce quickly, then pour over pasta. Rain down parmesan shavings and cracked black pepper.
A nice cold chardonnay or semillon or even a viognier should be up to the task.