I love nights like these.
Where the sky is a solid block of mauve cloud because there is so much moisture in the air, but the weather is not quite ready yet to break. When the heat sticks around long after the sun goes down because it has nowhere to escape, stuck in the space between the solid earth and the semi-solid sky. The lights seem to be a little bit brighter, buzzing with the energy of the heat, the building static in the sky.
This glowing nighttime world smells a little bit salty, from the sticky heat of the people inhabiting it. My hair, washed hours ago, is still yet to completely dry, and the moisture in the air makes it riotously curly. When I get a drink, I am surprised by how quickly the ice melts, shocked by the icy sting of the condensation that appears from nowhere and drips down my hands, reminding me of the possibility of coolness.
Even though it is so warm, breathing in warm air that is heated even more by the time you breathe it out, these are the nights where I want to dance. Despite the stickiness, the heat that clings to every bit of you, seeping in through your skin, all I want to do is move, excited by the electricity these nights seem to build as the blanket of cloud looms, building enough electricity to break into storm.
The band playing on the barely risen from floor level stage must be melting under the pot lights, belting out rockabilly music on open mic night. Aerosolized oil from the bar kitchen that is out of view makes you think of food; salty crispy french fries would be so good in this moment but the thought of eating hot food is unbearable, and anyway all I want to do is dance.
These nights, hot and sticky, charged with energy and threatening ominously to break out into storm are the best nights of summer. These moments are too good, I hope sleep does not come soon.
Pico de GalloIngredients
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper
1 small onion
4 Roma tomatoes
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher saltDirections
- Prep step: Peel the garlic. Halve the jalapeno and remove its seeds and membranes. Take the skin off of the onion and quarter it. Quarter the tomatoes and scoop out their seeds.
- Into the food processor goes the garlic and half of the jalapeno, because you want the pieces of these to be the smallest. Pulse until they are fairly well chopped up.
- Add the onion to the food processor and continue to process. (I have a manual food processor, so my arm got a workout).
- When the onion has been cut up to your desired size (I like my pico de gallo pretty fine), add the tomatoes and continue to chop away.
- Empty the contents of your food processor into a bowl, and stir in the lime juice, salt and pepper.
- Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips.
What is really awesome is that pico de gallo, on nights like the one above, is not hot so you don’t raise your temperature too much, but the spice certainly fits the hot atmosphere.
Mister says: It is important to remember to remove the seeds from the tomatoes because otherwise you end up with a very watery pico de gallo. The fact that pico de gallo is uncooked makes it that much more refreshing. For him, half of the jalapeno is the perfect amount of heat.