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Summer Wanes

September 7, 2009

Likely you are not going to a barbecue today.  Most likely you are going to a cookout, where there will be foods thrown on a hot grill.  Some may even grill ribs, and baste them with barbecue sauce.  That doesn’t make it barbecue.  The same goes for chicken.

Maybe I’m preaching to the choir, and you have all read and memorized my rant on grilling versus barbecue.  But I’ll stand on this soapbox until I have absorbed the penetrating smoke ring of righteousness.

In all seriousness, summer is on its way out.

Today you will do what you will.  And at this point I am not going to try and have any influence over your Labor Day activities.  Still, I feel compelled to offer a few reminders as we get ready for the seasonal shift.

Last call for summer comestibles.

Jess recently mentioned her brilliant idea of freezing her summer pesto, so she can break out some of that fresh basil sunshine on those cold dark winter nights.  And it made me realize not only did I not make any pesto this summer, I didn’t write about pesto, or my thoughts about freezing the stuff.  I’ll try to put it on the list for next year.

I just made a watermelon gimlet.  It was pretty good.  Here was the build: Rangpur gin, Rose’s lime cordial, fresh free-run watermelon juice (or muddled watermelon pieces) and Angostura orange bitters – shaken.  But I’ve got to move the watermelon out of the fridge to make room for apples.

The last batch of peaches I bought from the co-op looked lovely, but quite literally they went from hard to rotten in a day.  It’s such a sad sad thing, to be looking forward to a peach and be denied.  What little I could save was still pretty good.

Time to put those last pinot grigios in the fridge and drink them as you are preparing dinner, or just on some sunny afternoon when the temperature cracks 75.  Anything, but just drink them.  They will not improve with age.  By next summer, they will be as tired as gladiator sandals.

I can’t imagine wanting a margarita or a daiquiri in the fall and winter.  And those are my go-to drinks for tequila and rum, although the Afro-Cuban cocktail should hold up nicely in the cooler months.  And I’ll be looking out for something that works well with tequila.  There must be cold parts of Mexico?  At least sometimes.  No?

Honestly, I am looking forward to the coming fall.  I love winter squashes, stews, and braises.  I have great carrot and potato farmers at the Troy Market that I can’t wait to visit.  Big steaming pots of hearty simmering bean dishes from around the world, and a deeper dive into the lusty cuisine of South Asia await the months ahead.

Raking the leaves, maybe not so much.

One thing is clear as I look through my kitchen and assess this summer.  I totally bought too much Pinot Grigio.  And here’s the kicker—it’s not that interesting of a wine.  But when it’s hot, I just want something light and fresh.  Amazingly this was my third summer in the area, and the only one that wasn’t blazingly brutal.

Turns out I’m a complete weather wuss.  Except for winter.  Then I’m a complete dry skin wuss.  I’ll try to spare you the details and focus on the food.  Cider donuts, anyone?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. phairhead permalink
    September 7, 2009 10:35 am

    my boyfriend used a dry rub on ribs that we grilled for 3 hours. does that make it barbeque?

  2. nancy c permalink
    September 7, 2009 8:53 pm

    mmmmm what no pesto this summer?? i need to ship you max’s basil!
    and about those cider donuts when are we meeting at bartlett’s??

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