Bena Mae's Kitchen: Everybody talks about the weather
.....but nobody does anything about it.
The above quote generally attributed to Mark Twain, actually originated with Charles Dudley Warner, a friend of Twain’s. But history gives the credit to Twain, and regardless of who made the statement, the quote has been set in stone for subsequent years and is repeated every time a weather crisis appears on the horizon.
Such as now when heat records are being broken across the south and northeast.
I have been glued to the weather station for the last couple of days. Deluges of rain and wind, record-breaking heat, devastating forest fires make me wonder if the scientists are right about the ozone layer. But I’m not smart enough to get into that so I’ll just stay with what I know.
Google tells me that for much of man’s history, the best way to forecast the weather was to look outside. But that all changed on April 1, 1960 -- exactly 50 years ago to the day -- when the world’s first weather satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
With the satellite, people could not only better plan outdoor weddings and camping trips, they could also be forewarned of devastating storms coming their way. In today’s world, if you want to know the weather forecast, you can turn to plenty of websites and television channels to get your fix. That’s all thanks to a technology that was born with that first satellite built for NASA.
So what did we do in the summer when it got so hot? Or did it get as hot as it is today. We didn’t know about the ozone layer or how it impacted the earth’s weather. We just took it as a matter of course and sucked it up. We compensated the best we knew how. We had fans that moved the hot air around, kept our windows open (can’t do that now), sat in the shade, and slept with our heads in the window. We cooked our main meal in the morning so the kitchen would cool off by suppertime.
The worst job I had in helping with the meal was shucking the corn. I would sit on the back porch and pull down the shucks with sweat dripping from my forehead like Niagara Falls, hoping I wouldn’t find a packsaddle (ugly green worm). The cornsilks would stick like glue to the ear of corn and it was a job getting them all off. The taste of the sweet corn later made it all worthwhile.
But there were some good things about dealing with the hot weather that compensated for the discomfort. Families gathered on their front porches and communed with one another. They shared family stories of past history that were told and retold from generation to generation. It was a time of solidifying the family, of letting them know from whence they came.
And what about the weather tomorrow? We would look outside and see.
(9 inch) pie shell
7 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 yellow onion
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake the pastry shell for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned.
Slice onion and place in the bottom of pastry shell. Slice tomatoes and arrange over onions. Add black pepper to taste.
In a medium bowl, combine mozzarella, parmesan and mayonnaise. Spread this mixture evenly over tomatoes.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, garnish with fresh herbs.