Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Psychological End of Summer

Last night's menu first course: polenta, tomato and mozzarella.

The entree: meatloaf!
Labor Day Weekend fast approaches, and with it, the end of summer.  Or at least our mental timetable of summer - the official date is not for some weeks yet - and once again, it went too quickly.  We are all asking each other "Where did the summer go?" and "Didn't this summer go fast?" 

Food wise, it was a pretty satisfying season, especially when I think there is still a month or more of fresh summer-ish produce to look forward to.  Peppers are still plentiful, which means there is still time to make some hot pepper pickle; peaches, too, are readily available and jam can still be put up.  We haven't made our bread and butter pickle yet either, but we will get some Redman cucumbers this week and make that our next project.  While Bill tells us the seedless watermelon are over - and that is a HUGE sorrow - there might still be some to be had somewhere.  Maybe?  I am not ready to let watermelon go, not at all. Tomatoes, of course, are going to be around for a while longer as well, although I don't think this year's crop was that great.  The weather is a big factor in everything from the ground, and this year's dry weeks followed by one of the wettest Augusts on record could be to blame.  Summer squash - not my favorite - will of course continue to appear on the plates, and eggplant too.  Kevin's eggplant with onion and tomato has been a staple snack for me at the end of the nightly dinner service - good hot or cold!  And of course we'll be getting sweet corn for a while longer.  We hope...

I hate to see the season end.  I am sure that after this Holiday weekend someone will have pumpkins on their porch and maple leaves in their windows; the next thing you know it will be the end of September and there will be Christmas supplies at Walgreens and butternut squash the only fresh produce at the market.  And kale.  So, eat the summer stuff while you can.  And don't forget crabs - they are the best they get the next few months - river crabs are especially fat and nice in September and October.  Don't let the summer eating season end without a fight!

That's my plan, anyway.

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