I think I have been mind cheating on summer. Technically, we have a few weeks before fall begins, but I’ve already had thoughts of beef bourguignon and spiced sweet potatoes. I can’t wait to turn my oven on. I can’t wait to start braising again.
I feel like a monster. Who is this person so ready to give up on summer? We have had so many fond food memories together. I’ve eaten salads enrobed in blueberry vinaigrette and had my breakfast sweetened with lemon lavender marmalade. And yet …
Oh, the guilt.
My remorse led me straight to the pool this past Sunday; a last-ditch effort to rekindle what was left of my summer romance with summer. It was so cold I kept my jacket on the entire time. It clearly wasn’t working.
I should have seen this seasonal adultery coming: all the signs were there. Last week, I lost my cool when I sliced open a melon from the farmers’ market and its juice dumped all over the floor. I’ve grown emotionally distant—a tad neglectful even—with my corn, letting its natural sugar quietly turn to starch in my bottom crisper drawer. I’ve become resentful of peaches. (For once, I’d like to eat a peach in peace, without having to stand over my kitchen sink and have juice dribble down my chin.)
I’ve even been working later and longer hours, as I recently took a job as a food columnist for the South End News. (Curious? Check out my column about Joanne Chang of famed Flour Bakery + Café and her sticky buns.) I’ve loved this extra work, but have been too tired to even attempt making a berry fool or nectarine tart. Or maybe I've just lost interest?
Then I encountered the oven-candied tomato. It was the best of both worlds: bursting with the final flavors of summer, while still being hearty enough to carry me right into the arms of fall. The tomatoes barely lasted 12 hours: a very brief affair (but definitely one to remember).
It was also just saucy enough to ease the guilt. And you know what they say about guilt; it's a wasted emotion. Oh wait, that's regret. On second thought, I'd better buy a bushel of tomatoes before it's too late.