Farewell to Summer

Today was Summer’s last gasp here in Central VA.  It was a beautiful low 80s and sunny day.  Tomorrow is supposed to be twenty degrees cooler and rainy.  Ugh.  I’m a Summer girl so it always makes me a little sad to say goodbye to long, hot, sunny days.  Today I took out the last of the garden and got my last harvest of peppers.  I weeded and tilled the garden plots and put them to bed.  I put the down comforter back in the duvet and turned off the A/C system.  Sigh.

Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by the letter “S”:  Summer, sun, sea, squash and string beans.  At the farmers’ market this morning I picked up a lovely tuna steak from Barham’s Seafood and the last of the summer squash from Rocking F Farm.  I picked the last of the beans from my garden last weekend and then forgot about them so I sauteed them tonight with some garlic.  Add those to a tuna steak seared on both sides with salt, pepper and lemon zest.  Add to those my favorite squash and onions cooked in my big cast iron skillet until they’re buttery soft.  I got out my favorite bright blue plate and my most summery placemat.  The perfect Summer dinner, almost. 

Here’s the thing about eating vegetables at the bitter end of their growing season.  They’re good, but not as good as you want them to be.  The beans are just a little tough and the squash seeds are just a little woody.  This is why you should try to eat the vegetables that are really in season.  And why you should buy a little extra at peak season and put them aside for a cold an rainy day.  I have a few more squash for the week.  I think I’ll seed them before I cook them next time. 

In the meantime there’s a giant pot of collard greens on the stove.  My attempt to welcome Fall.  I do love collards.  And tomorrow there’s football.  I do love football.  And there will be soup.  Oh, how I love soup.  Well, it’s not Summer – not by a long shot – but Fall has a few things going for it.

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