It seems appropriate to mention that this morning, I woke up an hour earlier than needed so that I could cut, peel, core, and slice up some grannysmith's. Oh yes, people, it is the end of the summer.
That seems to make some people sad and wistful. Not so for me, and I can honestly say it's been that way for some time, even before I lived in San Francisco, where the seasons are all mixed up anyhow. I just like time passing. For a long time now, I have enjoyed the dynamic nature of the world, the way nothing gold can stay. Perhaps it is because I grew up in the Northeast, where the end of the summer gives rise to glorious fireworks of colors bursting on trees. Or maybe it is because I am a malcontent, such that by the time the summer is coming to a close, I cannot wait for the heat to subside, and the oven to be used on a regular basis.
S and I had a silly talk the other day, in which I declared that we had to stop eating out so often, and in which, typical of our complete failure to communicate properly, he thought I meant that I disliked going out to eat. There seems to be no way to make people understand that sometimes I need to be in the kitchen. Do not mistake me- if it was my lot in life to be there every day, forced to make three squares for a family of five, I would probably lose all interest in it and advocate for eating out and frozen dinners. But I find eating in to be just as much of a luxury as eating out these days.
And also, food has become, for me, part of the marking of time passing. In the summer, it is too hot to bake regularly, so I search for other options. The strawberries are fresh, ripe and bursting at the farmer's market, so I learn to make sorbet. Friends' gardens grow tomatoes and I learn to make sauce. I throw brunch and I cook fresh blueberries with sugar until they make french toast taste better, and buy 5 pounds of oranges to get a pitcher of fresh-squeezed juice.
Then on Sunday, it was a little windier in the morning. It was in the air, the whispers of autumn. And at the market, there were apples. And the mushrooms were calling out. And when I sat in the kitchen this morning, slicing apples up, I grew intoxicated by thoughts of the months to come, the scents of cinnamon and ginger, the tastes of apples, pumpkins, potatoes. Mushroom sauce, and stews. I felt a little giddy.
Time moves too fast sometimes, and these days especially. So much is happening, and so many uncertainties present themselves. Once again, I am in this strange position of having no idea where I will be 1 year from now. And sometimes, as in the past, that feels unsettling, and I feel like the ground beneath me is crumbling. But other times, all it takes is a bowl full of cinnamon, sugar, and apples to calm me down. It's as easy as apple pie. Some things change, and yet enough always remains.