Monday, September 20, 2010

Last Taste of Summer

Greetings from the Last Day of Summer. How did that happen so mother flipping fast?!!!!!??? Summer is officially over even though it hardly ever got here in the first place! Tomorrow is the vernal equinox and then the days just get shorter and shorter. Soon it will be time for roasting vegetables and carving pumpkins and baking bread and harvesting the fall crops in our new garden that we finally had a chance to plant this weekend - lots of salad greens, chard, kale, beets, cabbage and broccoli, oh my!

But for now, it turns out to be a very happy coincidence that tonight's dinner featured the very last bits of goodness from our summer garden at the old house.

We had one last small handful of padron peppers and sweet italian peppers, and a lone midget red bell pepper that we tossed into Grandma Esway's old cast iron skillet, and we quickly fried and then ate them with coarse salt while standing in the kitchen waiting for the tomato soup to finish simmering. I think she very much would have approved of tonight's meal. Dad, you would too!!

The soup was made with the last batch of big fat plump juicy tomatoes from the old garden, supplemented by a handful of dry-farmed early girl tomatoes from local farm Dirty Girl Produce.

The tomatoes got simmered with shallots & onions cooked in a little butter and a little water, and sat there simmering for what felt like so many hours that we thought for sure that we'd never, ever get to eat the soup. But good things come to those who wait. Especially if those who are waiting happen to have a batch of fried peppers to tide them over!

The last day of summer turned out to be not so bad at all, and I'm feeling pretty excited to greet the fall and all of the goodness that it will bring, too. On to new adventures!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Some Things are Worth Repeating

Well hello, stranger! It sure has been awhile. Lifetimes have passed, or at least it feels that way. It's a new era, in a new home, and it's almost a new season, with summer slipping away quietly. Couldn't let it go without sneaking in a little getaway to one of my most favorite places ever: Big Sur!

The dinner we cooked in our little cabin last year was so delightful, we had to give it a repeat performance using this year's tomato harvest from our garden at the old place. Oh, am I going to miss that garden.

The weather was just perfect, the scenery dreamy as ever, and there was much lounging with dog friends.

And how crazy is it that I spent much of my life in Arizona, but I had to go to Big Sur to find myself in the company of a real live scorpion? I guess there's a first for everything. Thankfully no one was stung and all ended well for everyone but the poor scorpion. We found out later that the kind of scorpions that hang around California are not poisonous, but I guess I'm glad we didn't take any chances. Poison or no, it's better to not be stung!

When we got back to Oakland, even though I was not quite ready for the getaway to end, it felt so nice to come home. It was a hot afternoon and the house was baking, so we did a little yard work and set up a table on the back patio like we'd been meaning to do ever since we moved in. Later we got Thai take out from King of Thai Noodle and sat on the cool patio eating it, once again savoring the perfect summer-ness of it all.