What a difference a couple of days can make! One day it is stinking hot, the next tornadoes and flooding up the east coast. And the day after that there is a slight chill in the air. It was 69° when Luke the wonder dog and I went walking Thursday morning. Call me optimistic, but I believe that was the first harbinger of autumn. We are about to enjoy the Labor Day three-day weekend – let’s make up for lost time, before it gets too cold, and be sure that we have wrung all the seasonal goodness out of summer.
It occurred to me last weekend that the whole summer had gone by without us having made one of our summer favorites – Famous Wafer Icebox Cake. This is a back-of-the-box staple that Mr. Sanders brought to the marriage, for which I am forever grateful. We felt particularly lucky, because the box of Famous Wafers that we brought home from the grocery store contained not one broken wafer cookie – a good omen! I whipped cream with abandon, and constructed a wobbly tower of wafers, then stashed it in the fridge for the afternoon, where it mellowed and acquired sophistication and panache. Not really. The wafers softened a little, and the whipped cream was as good as one remembers. I don’t put a lot of sugar in the whipped cream, because the wafers are very sweet, but you might remember your childhood differently. This recipe has a clever idea to use a loaf pan for the cake assembly. I wish I had read it last weekend before I built our teetering stacks of wafers. I’ll try to remember it for next summer: https://www.seriouseats.com/classic-icebox-cake-recipe
How is it that we have gone all summer without having grilled some hot dogs? We have had many a burger and a couple of deelish steaks, plenty of grilled chicken and salmon, grilled corn, and even some grilled kale, but no hot dogs. This is a situation I promise you we will rectify this weekend. Maybe we will even grill some brats. Mostly Mr. Sanders simply grills the dogs, but sometimes he adds ruffles and flourishes: he will split them so they get extra burnt and charred. I like to add spicy brown mustard and raw onions, he prefers sauerkraut. We have a jar of sweet pickle relish on hand, for show. Here are some other ways you might like to try: https://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-way-to-grill-hot-dogs-23177720
What on earth have we been thinking this summer? Have we let COVID completely addle our thinking? We have not had a single solitary shish kabob. What kind of household is this? With kabobs there is something for everybody. I don’t care for mushrooms, so we leave them off my skewers. Sometimes, with the young and particular, you have to be careful about what kabob items touch each others. Yes, that can be a thing. But you can also prepare delightful all-vegetable kabobs, and cook them side-by-side with the meat-lace skewers for the omnivores in your life. In one fell swoop you can simplify. There are plenty of variations, and you can please your pickiest eater: https://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/easy-grilled-kabobs-recipe?
I might be jumping the gun, anticipating a bracing, brand new season, when we might just be having a cool couple of days. But I will enjoy the respite from the searing heat. Luke the wonder dog was much happier this morning. He did not collapse into a large, thudding pile when we came home after our walk. Instead, he was eager to continue his perpetual squirrel hunt in the back yard, pitting his new-found energy against the ingenuity of his constant tree-rat foes. He did not catch any, of course, but he circled the pecan orchard that is our back yard with purpose: he is ready for the fall, too.
A combination is
Of Crickets — Crows — and Retrospects
And a dissembling Breeze
That hints without assuming —
An Innuendo sear
That makes the Heart put up its Fun
And turn Philosopher.”
― Emily Dickinson