八月的日子裡少了颱風,多得是午後一陣急冷的雨。

  星期日的時光並不悠閒,女友還要工作。下班後,時間尚早,不到晚餐,女友說,想去一趟七星潭。

  她過去心情不好的時候,時常會在七星潭聽海,而我們的戀情,也是在七星潭萌芽。

  要離開了,才發現天色丕變,外面下起斗大顆粒的一場急雨,綿密的烏雲從山脈那頭一路覆蓋到這頭,且其勢未止,似乎還在往海蔓延。女友猶豫了,不知道是不是應該按計畫而行。我笑了,即使撐傘,也是一樣浪漫。

  開車沿著海岸一路往北,雨勢忽大忽小,時有時無,似乎正在遊走於雨雲的邊緣。抵達七星潭後,海岸已經開始飄著小雨,揚起的海風帶有些微的涼意。

  不如就去夏太熱吃晚餐吧,女友說。

  雨勢似乎隨時可能增強,不太確定當晚夏太熱會不會開。女友有點擔心,但既然到了,且走路不遠,不過數分鐘之遙,開了就去用餐,沒開就是散步。

  那天晚上的確有開,而且客人滿座,剩餘一、兩個座位都被雨淋濕了,而且Terry道歉的說,今晚食材和餅皮都不足,我們來得晚了。

  「那還有沒有墨西哥捲餅呢?」我問,抱著一絲希望。

  可能要稍微等一下,若是做完披薩還夠的話就可以做,他答。

  我們坐進了工作室躲雨。後面的舊式建築隔成兩間,一間是民宿,另外一間是工作室,同時也陳列一些販賣的商品,很多以自然為材料的手工製品,如一些喊不出名字的乾燥植物製作成的鑰匙圈,一堆標示可以打頭但是其實很痛的小樹瘤,很有意思。商品中也有熟悉的Ki媽手工香皂,而擺放的名片裡有我很喜歡的「有的、沒的」。

  「我可以幫你們做一份墨西哥捲餅。」Terry操著濃厚腔調的中文說。

  雖然份量不足兩個人的晚餐,當作嚐鮮也好,一次嶄新的體驗。

  就像一切手工的料理,等待是必要的。我們坐在是工作坊也是臥房的小空間裡,把玩裡頭的小玩意,閱讀一些書刊,同時也聊一些關於彼此的話題和回顧相識的過程。因為咖啡都是在工作坊裡研磨,因此當外面的客人點了幾杯咖啡,小小的空間裡就充滿了香馥的咖啡香,

  等到端上來了,才發覺捲餅的份量比預估得大,而且和我過去印象中的墨西哥捲餅截然不同,著實訝異了。

  餅皮是並不是一般的玉米餅,而是獨特的咖啡色餅皮,在烤箱烤到微脆的質感,撒上一層不知何物的粉(或許是麥粉),上面再淋莎莎醬。切開脆香的餅皮以後,裡面包裹的是莎莎醬、馬鈴薯丁和墨西哥Chili。莎莎醬的蕃茄和萊姆汁都很清爽,馬鈴薯丁和墨西哥Chili都是濃郁的口感。

  我習慣的墨西哥捲餅大多是以長米、黑豆、豆泥、酪梨醬和莎莎醬,搭配一種肉類為內餡,所以初次嚐到這種餡料的搭配方式,很新鮮。吃的時候忍不住在想,如果馬鈴薯丁換成烤好鬆軟的馬鈴薯,搭配墨西哥Chili,可能還會加分呢!

  我們把捲餅切成對半,一人一半,用手抓起來品嚐。剛出爐的餅皮和餡料都很燙,要小心翼翼的,小口小口的咀嚼。

  吃完以後,外面雨勢漸弱,我們撐起傘,付完錢,和Terry閒聊幾句之後,決定到海邊散步。臨別之前,看到上次的畫又更完整了一些,太陽的彩點又更密集了,下方又多了三個象徵陽光的長三角形,就忍不住笑了。



August is known as the month of typhoon, but they were absent this year; instead, was the cold and untimely rain.

A Sunday is supposed to be leisure and laidback, but there was nothing of the sort, not this Sunday. My girlfriend L, unfortunately, had to go into the office that day. After work, she suggested a trip to Chisingtan.

When down and moody, L would drive to Chisingtan and listen to the waves. Chisingtan is always the place where our relationship blossomed.

We noticed the sudden change of weather shortly before we depart, heavy rain crushing down outside the window, all the while, dense, gloomy clouds enveloped the sky from the mountains all the way to where we were, surging towards the sea. She hesitated, uncertain whether to proceed as planned. But a walk on the beach under umbrellas is just as romantic, so I insisted.

We drove along the shore all the way north, and the intensity of the rain fluctuated, as if we were driving on the borderline of the clouds. Upon our arrival at Chisingtan, the seaside just began to drizzle, with a chill in the breeze.

How about dinner at Hot Summer? She recommended.
  
The rain might pick up any moment, so I could not be certain whether Hot Summer was open, and she was worried too. However, we were here already, and Hot Summer was only a minute walk, so if it opens we shall dine there; if it is not, then this will be a casual stroll on the beach.

It did open that night, and it was crowded, and the only few empty seats were under the rain. On top of that, Terry informed us apologetically that both the pizza dough was out. We were late.

“Is there any burrito left?” I asked, giving it a last shot.

You have to wait a little, if there is any dough left after the pizza, I can make it, he replied.

We sat in their studio to stay out of the increasingly heavy rain. The house I mentioned before was separated into two compartments, one for home stay, and one as a studio/bedroom/shop. There were many handicrafts from natural material, like key rings made from dried plants that I had no name for, or many tree tumors labeled as for hitting heads (but in actuality it hurts, real bad), and strangely, peripheral products of Harry Potter. What stood out to me was Ki Ma’s handmade soap, and so was the business card of “This & That”, one of my favorite places in Hualien.

“I can make a burrito for you.” Terry said in Mandarin, with a strong accent.

I took it gladly. Although it wasn’t quite adequate as dinner for two, but as a new experience, it was plenty.

Waiting is an integral part of handmade cuisine. In this small studio/bedroom space, we played around with the little gadgets, read magazines, chat about each other and how our relationship began. Since all the coffee is grinded in the studio, once customers outside ordered coffee, the space was immediately filled with fragrant aroma of coffee beans.

When the burrito was served, the size of it was much large than I expected, and it appeared to be completely different from any burrito I had ever seen. My surprise was genuine.

The burrito here abandoned the conventional tortillas and came up with brown crust instead. After baked in the oven, the crust was crispy on the outside. It was garnished with some sort of brownish powder (something wheaty it seems) and some salsa on the top. Once cut open, the fillings were salsa, potato cubes and Mexican chili. The tomatoes and lime juice from salsa was refreshing, and the potato cubes and Mexican chili were rich and filling.

The burrito fillings I had grew accustomed to were long rice, black beans, bean paste, cheese, guacamole and salsa (or different combination from the list), accompanied by one type of meat, therefore when I first tasted Hot Summer’s burrito, it was unique. Although when I was spoiling myself with the burrito, I couldn’t help to think, if the potato cubes are to be replaced by baked, soft potatoes, it might be even better (or not)!

We cut the burrito in half, and grabbed it with our hands. The brown crust fresh from the oven was sizzling hot and so were the fillings, we took each bite with care.

The rain reduced to a drizzle. We paid for the burrito, chatted with Terry a little (he was still occupied with the other guests, so it was brief), and decided to take a casual walk on the beach. Before parting, I noticed the brick wall painting from last time was different, it was more complete now. The colorful dots of the sun were denser than before, and three triangles at the bottom symbolizing the rays of the sun. Looking at the painting, we both smiled.

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