Summer nearly here -- and it's full of color and activity

info@islandpacket.comMay 30, 2012 

  • 1 pound box rigatoni, cooked and drained

    1 pound Italian sausage, spicy, removed from casing

    1 teaspoon fennel seeds

    1 large red onion, chop up

    1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    1 bunch Italian parsley, washed and chopped

    1 can chicken broth

    Brown sausage with fennel seeds and onion in a large pot.

    Add chicken broth and stir well. Add pasta and half of the cheese to pan. Stir well.

    Add parsley and serve in large bowls with remaining cheese.

    A nice pinot noir would be swell with this.

When I was growing up, the arrival of summer was a busy time. The household, ours and my grandmother's, was a beehive of activity.

The Persian rug man came and rolled up all of the rugs and took them away to their summer home in his storage vault. Out came white slipcovers for all of the furniture, and grass matting for the floors -- ordered from New York -- was put down in all of the rooms. Grass matting used to come in big rolls that I don't think you can get anymore. It must have been the same sort that was used by Asian families on their floors. Then magnolia leaves from the yard or big ferns that had been fussed over all winter were put in the cleaned-out fireplaces. Silver was polished, and brass was shined to a beautiful hue.

My grandmother would be so amazed that the look she perfected long ago is now in vogue. Crack open a watermelon and pass the fried chicken. Things have gotten a lot simpler and that is something to celebrate.

  • I have tried so many times to grow a garden. There always seems to be a critter waiting to munch on my little babies.

  • I need Pomona the Roman goddess of agriculture and abundance to give me a call. She is supposed to tend to orchards and gardens.

    Pomona was painted quite often by Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt and was always shown with an armful of vegetables and fruit and wielding pruning shears.

    I wonder if the Cahills have called upon her. They have an abundance of beautiful vegetables. They were most likely born with the growing know-how. Some people just have a green thumb, like Lori and Mitch Brown's mama, Nedra.

    I suppose I am lucky to have Cahills and the Bluffton Farmers Market close by. I can weave a good fish tale about the tomato or squash that got away -- I know everyone will be enthralled.

    Does anyone know if there is a person who is a vegetable taxidermist? If I get a tomato to grow, I am going to mount it on my wall and talk about it incessantly.

    Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.

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