A face lit up by lightning

Archived | August 11, 2009 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It had been one of those crazy hot humid days when you can see the heat rise off the pavement, and things like the creak of the porch swing and the ring of the phone seem a bit louder than usual, and echo, even, and you can’t see it but you feel the storm coming and you know it’s going to be a humdinger, and part of you, secretly, hopes for that.
It’s not that you want mass destruction or anything, or even downed trees and power lines. A power outage would be alright, and some leaves blown around the yard would be good. It’s not so much what actually happens as it is the thought of it. You hear the wind pick up and you see those purple and black clouds all swirling and everything goes green for a while and the rain comes down in torrents. There’s a kind of beauty in a face lit up by lightning, and a softness in skin wet by rain, and to be so bold as to go out on the porch to meet that storm in person is pretty much irresistible.
For me, anyway. The kids think I’m nuts, but I can’t help it. When that storm rolled in Saturday night, there I was, out there in the driveway like the Welcome Wagon on moving day. “Get in here, Mom,” the kids hollered from the doorway. Not just yet, I told them. I’m seeing what’s going on. Didn’t take long for them to join me, and there we stood, wide-eyed with wonder at the first real storm of summer. The thunder clapped loud and the kids oohed and aahhed, and when the lightning show began it was time to go in.
By morning the storm was gone, and the sun came out bright and the windows were all clean. There wasn’t much to pick up, and everything smelled fresh and new. That’s the thing about storms. They come through all dark and flashing, and when they’re gone, you see the loveliness in what’s left behind.
Mrs. Sundberg’s Dad’s Easy Beer Batter for Fish
We’ve been doing some fishing lately, and have plans to do some more. This recipe comes from my father, who has used it for years. It makes the best battered halibut I’ve ever had, and walleye, too. Give it a go, and see what you think.
1. Pour 1/3 – 1/2 can beer in mixing bowl (don’t waste it, you can add more later). A dark beer is best – like a red or a dark ale. Stir beer with whisk, and let stand.
2. Stir in 1 egg – beat with whisk or fork.
3. Add 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup Bisquick, 1/2 tsp. salt, some pepper, and a few shakes of paprika. Mix well. Add more beer as necessary to make a thin batter. (Some also like to add a few shakes of garlic powder to batter.)
4. Add fish, and thoroughly coat with batter, shaking off the excess. Fry in oil at 375 degrees F. Cook ’til golden brown. Fish will float when done. Consume remainder of beer with the fish, which ought to be served with fried potatoes and green beans. Best when served to good friends or family whom you love.