You can sure tell when Summer has transitioned into Fall - I am in the kitchen and happy about it! This past summer had me avoiding it like the plague. Thank goodness, there were no two-legged dependents relying on three meals coming out of that particular space in my house. The only thing I was capable of in 90+ degree days with 150% humidity, was slinging some kibble in a bowl with a splash of heavy cream. Heavy cream, you say? Don't ask.
But now -- I was cookin' up a storm this past weekend: deviled eggs and plum crumble (GF) to go with fried chicken and the delicious (quinoa) pasta salad my sister made for our mother's surprise birthday picnic; then peach crumble made from the same recipe - not quite as good, but I ran out of plums; my new favorite soup, recipe borrowed from Kim's stellar weekly menu - always a source of inspiration, then a turkey meatloaf stuffed with spinach, accompanied by garlic smashed potatoes for Kay and Nick (rather bland - I forgot the cheese in the stuffing! - but they were kind and et it anyway), and, finally, some of Marianne's amazing pork chops, marinated in soy (Bragg's) and lemon and garlic (see recipe here). I also squeezed in a round of cheesemaking and have a nice, fresh pound of mozzarella in the fridge.
My second planting of lettuce - although spotty on the germination front - has yielded enough leafy greens to get me through a couple of weeks. I'm glad I have the cold frame, as Tuesday morning's temperature (at 4:30) was 32 degrees! I am going to try to plant some spinach in the 'bald spots' to see if I can keep this up throughout most of the Fall and Winter.
Speaking of the garden, it is a sorry sight, indeed. I have prepped two beds for the spring - one will be planted in garlic this fall. I have to pull out the tomato plants - which are still loaded with tomatoes, but I am so beyond caring - and I am still hopeful that I may get two whole pumpkins and four whole winter squash out of my half acre (not nearly, but still...) of plants that got zapped by powdery mildew. I will give them a couple more weeks, and then out they go. I've got my seed garlic ready and will put it in Columbus Day weekend. I still have to harvest and dry herbs, and transplant my rosemary plant to a pot for safekeeping over winter, and cut down the strawberries to be ready for their nice straw blankie. The leaves are turning and it's time to tuck things in for the year.