I love the simplicity of summer cooking, mostly because my summertime philosophy is to send as much of the cooking outside to Mr. Friday and his grill as I possibly can, without seeming churlish. Or manipulative. Or lazy. He is better suited to repel the advances of mosquitos, and Luke the wonder dog lives in hope of a game of The B Word. I am naturally inclined to stay in the kitchen, monitoring the wine levels, while washing berries or whipping cream. Or checking Instagram.
The end of September is that odd time of the year when some mornings it is cool enough for a light jacket, which we will regret wearing along about eleven, when the temperature rises. The angle of light is changing, the sun is going down earlier, a handful of leaves is falling, and we are about ready for a change. Summer is a grand season, but I am looking forward to sweater weather.
And while we wait for the weather to catch up with the calendar, let’s move out to the back porch for a glass of wine. It’s almost dinnertime. There are more cardinals squawking in the hedge. I can hear geese some afternoons, and I watch the squirrels’ hunting parties rustling around while they are checking on this year’s pecan harvest. Luke is grateful for the extra distractions.
I anticipate the delights of the upcoming change of season, but I am also kvetching about the things I didn’t accomplish this summer: books I didn’t read, the croquet we never played, the back porch we didn’t paint, the European trip that was cancelled because of COVID, the domestic travel we couldn’t manage because of COVID; just lots of time at home, frozen in anxiety-ridden pandemic angst. Something has got to give!
Cooler weather means I will return to the kitchen and will rummage about for the big stew pots, the loaf pans, the Crock Pot and the recipes that will stick-to-our-ribs and our COVID bellies. Stews, chilies, spaghetti sauces, meatloaves, lasagnes, breads, brownies and pot pies. Spices swirling in the air. Baking. Planning Thanksgiving. I’m dreaming of a change from this stinking hot long, long summer. And then there are sugar plums that arrive in December! And having to figure out what to do for the Christmas card this year!
We do not ease our way back inside from the summer spent cooking outside on the grill. It is an abrupt change. Labor Day has come and gone, slamming the screen door behind it. I hear there might be some football. And while we wait for a vaccine I might as well get back into the kitchen – the summer holiday is over.
It’s going to rain this weekend with remnants of Hurricane Sally tooling around out there and if you can’t get outside to the grill – never fear. This is a good transitional side dish: oven roasted broccolini with lemons and Parmesan. Mr. Friday has been experimenting with broccolini on the grill this summer, and now it is coming inside. https://heronearth.com/roasted-broccolini-and-lemon-with-crispy-parmesan
If you don’t mind shopping for slivered almonds, you can try this version: https://daniliciousdishes.com/roasted-broccolini-w-garlic-parmesan-and-charred-lemon/
I’m going to ask Mr. Friday to help me with the cast iron skillet prep for hamburgers. There is one more week of September left, and I plan on relishing one last burger.
“Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away
Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing
As we danced in the night
Remember how the stars stole the night away…”
-Earth, Wind & Fire