Rumor has it that we are in for a sneak peak of fall weather this weekend. Last night, I left work and the temperature felt almost cool to me! It was awesome. Of course, “cool” is a relative term around here—I expect it to be steamy hot in the evenings, but last night, it was just…nice. Pleasant, and there was a gentle breeze tickling my skin. I was so prepared for the steamy blast of summer that I felt cold in the evening air. I’ve become such a wimp.
But I quickly recovered from the chill. At home, I pushed open the heavy glass door to the patio, and the evening air drifted inside, making the whole place smell amazing. What is it about fresh air coming inside a home that feels so good, so right? For most of the summer, I feel like I’ve been living inside a hermetically sealed, air-conditioned apartment. It was so liberating to break the seal and welcome the fresh air of late summer. I could get used to this.
I had a good week. As always, I live in the shadow of continual doubt because I am an experimental scientist, but still, it was a good week. I did a big important experiment that gave me ambiguous results, but the good news is that it didn’t kill my project! I’ve decided to look on the bright side and not worry too much about this. Sometimes killer experiments turn out to have no claws, just a few broken fingernails. I’m getting a lot done in the lab these days, which is always a good thing. And somehow, I’ve been able to preserve my sense of home life. There’s been lots of kitchen action as I’ve been churning out blueberry jam, digestive biscuits, red lentil soup, and wok-seared cabbage. The nectarines have been outstanding; I keep running to the store to buy more for the fruit bowl. I’m turning into what Nigel Slater calls “a ripeness anorak.” He says it better than I do. You must read:
“At home, the melons go straight into the larder to sit on the marble shelf, where they will be subjected to a daily ritual of turning and sniffing. Listen, some people make a big fuss over choosing their wines, I get a buzz out of bringing fruit to its point of perfection. I do it with mangoes, papayas and pears, too. Okay. So I am a ripeness anorak, there are worse things to be.” Nigel Slater, The Kitchen Diaries
Tonight there will be pasta with a roasted tomato sauce and maybe, if I’m lucky, a couple bottles of hard cider shared with a friend. There will be some reading on the couch and, heaven willing, a nap because I am exhausted today. Also, I’ll be thinking about what to share with you tomorrow because there are at least a few options. Lentil soup? Digestive biscuits? Chocolate morsel cookies? My savory cornbread puddings? We’ve got lots of choices here—such delicious possibilities.
Happy Labor Day weekend, friends. Hopefully your weekend is heavy on the happy and light on the labor. Enjoy these last few weeks of summer.