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Hot for Fall

September 25, 2017

One of my friends closed up her pool for the season. A couple of weeks ago. I bet she’s regretting that choice. But how could anyone have ever known that the climate might be changing?

It’s fall. Oh yes it is. I can tell by all those leaves on the lawn. I think they are simply falling out of habit though. Because it still feels like summer. And in some ways, it’s positively gorgeous out there. Don’t think for a second I’m complaining.

The things that are causing me trouble are problems of my own making.

Currently the battle that’s raging in the Fussy household is about the conflicting demands of physical comfort, the joy of cooking, and energy conservation. Because apparently by the end of September, the air conditioning is off for the year. It just is. It’s kind of a matter of pride.

Usually, we’re at the point of the year when we play a different game. That one is called, “See how long we can hold off on firing up the furnace”, to determine who is the weakest link in the household.

Me. It’s always me.

It’s kind of unthinkable that at this point in the year, I ran out to pick up another tank of propane for the shitty gas grill I bought so long ago. The thing was supposed to be non-operational at this point. But it’s still ticking.

That’s right. We’re grilling. Last night it was chicken thighs that got turned into sandwiches with a little chickpea salad on the side. The kids didn’t care for that, so after trying and rejecting the deliciousness of olive oil, lemon, garlic, and dried mint, they helped themselves to frozen peas.

But I even executed a burrito night outdoors during this current heat wave, using a cast iron skillet on the grill with some ground beef and a Penzeys spice blend. The beans warmed in a pot on the grill. Tortillas were softened by Mrs. Fussy in the microwave. I charred some hot peppers over the fire, diced up some local tomatoes, and sliced up an avocado. And it was a delicious meal that didn’t heat up the house even a little bit.

Tonight, however, I don’t think I’ll be able to get out of peanut butter pasta. It’s the Kinda Thai noodles that the kids love. Mrs. Fussy hates it. But this semester, Mrs. Fussy isn’t home for dinners on Monday night. So as soon as the kids heard the news, the next words out of their mouths were, “Can we have peanut butter noodles?”

Ugh.

Maybe I can buy them off with anything else that doesn’t require bringing a pot of water to a boil, and then boiling it for ten minutes. Franks and beans heated over the grill might do the trick. Burgers? They do love burgers. And I wouldn’t mind taking another trip to Whole Foods.

The upside about this heat is that I’ve finally got a chance to go through that tequila I didn’t finish this summer.

I buy one bottle at the beginning of May, and I try to make it through before summer ends. This year I totally failed. Summer just wasn’t that hot. I never drank my Nine Pin rose cider. I still have a Westbrook Gose in the fridge. All of those sound appealing these days.

Fortunately, the new eating routine has been going so well, that an occasional evening drink can be enjoyed once again.

Another upside was that the weather was absolutely gorgeous for my Yelp event on Saturday at Artisanal Brew Works, with Upstate Distilling Co. and Jeremy Roosa from Gaffney’s. If you’re curious to see how it went, there are pictures here. Soon, there will be more pictures from Andy Kainz Photography. Andy really does great work.

It’s definitely possible I brought some brown ale back from the brewery and drank some in a warm bath later that same evening. And I also brought back a bottle of the UDCo’s white whiskey with a desire to try and recreate a version of the cocktail I enjoyed so much at Pitney Meadows Farm.

But those are all subjects for another time.

It looks like the heat will break in time for Yom Kippur on Saturday. It’s the day of atonement. Big day. It’s the day that I spend all day in temple and fast, while trying to make peace with my personal failings. Man, I’m not looking forward to that.

This week, might be a bit more introspective than usual. The world is a mess, but I’m doing a pretty good job of distracting myself from it all, and staying relatively healthy.

If I can make it through the kid’s bar mitzvah, I’ll be golden.

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