As the Bard noted, Summer’s lease hath all too short a date. He didn’t get an option to renew, and now the fickle lover and his bouquets have departed, leaving me with bittersweet memories of our brief affair, promises to return someday, and a last kiss tasting of ripe tomatoes. Autumn has moved in, a genial fellow. But his hands are cold.
We had to turn on the furnace this morning. That’s when I finally admitted that Summer Is Not Icumen In. Summer is over.
I just finished roasting the last of the plum tomatoes from our garden. We didn’t have as big a harvest this year as last. My procedure is to split them, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with herbes de Provence and Maldon salt, then slowly roast for 3 hours at 250 F (120 C). They come out with the flavors concentrated, all ready to be frozen for later use.
I also made Mark Bittman’s savory tomato cobbler. A clever idea, because after all, tomatoes are fruits. The biscuit topping uses a mix of flour and cornmeal, so it’s very similar to cornbread or a bready polenta. A good match for tomatoes. The version I made was pepped up with red onion, garlic and basil.
Summer is the time for cold soups. Admittedly I wasn’t able to get these ingredients from my garden, but oh what flavors. Soon I will be craving only hot soups.
I adapted this from several “chilled avocado soup” recipes online. I call it avocado gazpacho.
2 ripe avocados
2 yellow bell peppers
1 cucumber, seeded
2 green onions, white and light green parts
1 clove garlic, minced
handful of cilantro (coriander leaves)
1 can diced green chilies
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
a big pinch salt
1 teaspoon green Tabasco sauce
1 cup thick yogurt
Chop vegetables and put them in the blender. Add the other ingredients and pulse until blended. Chill before serving.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it with whatever you’ve got on hand or change the proportions, and it’s still delicious. But if you use red bell peppers, the color might end up grey.
I still haven’t recovered from the icy embrace of last winter, and now another one is knocking on the door. But now there will be apples, pears, pumpkins and butternut squash. I’m hoping Autumn’s lease is pleasingly lengthy.