Some seasons end abruptly. One day it is freezing cold, the next it is warm and sunny. Summer ends next week, and it has been taking its sweet time. We have been having cooler mornings, but sneaky high afternoon temperatures have been loitering around. Like high school cool kids hanging in the smoking courtyard, they are tedious and must be borne.
We threaded through the farmers’ market last Saturday, trying to keep our social distance from the other folks eager to get out of the house. We are all a little weary and shopworn, like some of the produce. The peaches were looking a little older. The tomatoes didn’t hold the same glistening promise they they proffered in June. We have reached the squash maximum tolerance threshold. I couldn’t even find a new basil plant to buy, as our current plant just gave up the ghost on the back porch: too much summer. What on earth are we going to cook for dinner?
In the summer we are always in a rush to get someplace. The easy peasy, no-cook meals are perfect for busy summer people. We are ready to slow down a little now, and start thinking about a less harried, more reflective way to prepare meals. It’s almost time to dig out the slow cooker. But let’s not waste any time, or tomatoes, zucchini or over-ripe peaches as we anticipate the change of season.
Vivian Howard know just what to do with peaches. This recipe makes me feel happy that I am not a restaurant cook, and as a home cook I can smugly wrap peaches in a leisurely fashion. This is new life for old-ish peaches: https://www.vivianhoward.com/gorging-on-life/country-ham-peaches
Did I say we were tired of squash? Nonsense. Because now I know about squash tacos. These are easy, they are novel, and they are something new and wonderful. Plus we use up more squash. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/245766/butternut-squash-tacos/
If I see another Caprese salad before 2022 I will surely cause an embarrassing scene. https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/ultimate-caprese-salad Enough! And now that we are living without a viable basil plant, I should be able to avoid Caprese salad at home. Which isn’t to say that I don’t still love a nice big tomato salad. Just hold off on the bland, fresh mozzarella. Keep it for the pizza Margherita. I am moving on to something tart and tangy. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/late-summer-tomatoes-with-fresh-herbs?
Some cooks are turning to TikTok for meal inspiration. https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/tiktok-recipes-to-try-out-now
But that crafty Martha has a recipe for squash, zucchini and tomatoes. Of course she would. https://www.marthastewart.com/1549611/baked-fish-summer-squash
Maybe I am just weary of all the numbers, bad news, and monotony, but I cannot wait for autumn to start. I have probably contributed to the weather staying warm by buying a couple of big, yellow chrysanthemum plants for the front porch already. They need daily watering, which fills the basil maintenance void, and look they carefree and cheerful. I’ve ordered daffodil bulbs, and I even though I won’t get to plant them until Thanksgiving, it is nice to have something to look forward to. Spring is just around the corner!
“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”
― Wallace Stegner,