When I was a kid, I knew it was September when my Mom yanked my sister, brother and me out of Pleasant Lake and threw our sandy selves into the station wagon and headed down to the suburbs. These days the end of summer is less dramatic. Now I sort of slide into September.
However, change is in the air and there are a few subtle and not so subtle clues of autumn’s approach. Some of these changes have already occurred, others I expect to see within a week or two. Here are my telltale signs that summer has ended and September is here:
I have an uncontrollable urge to hum a Jimmy Buffet song.
Kids with backpacks instead of beach towels pass the house every morning and afternoon. I spot a yellow school bus for the first time in two months.
It can be as hot as the hottest July day at midday but sometime in the middle of the night I wake up and reach for a blanket.
There are parking spaces available within walking distance of both the post office and supermarket entrances.
There are pumpkins at the Farmers’ Market and farm stand.
The blueberries have all been picked and the apples are ready. For the first time in months, I’m peeling apples for a tart.
It’s chilly in the morning and I need to put on a sweater when I first get up.
There are geese everywhere you turn. They are overhead and their honking drowns out the loons’ call. They are scavenging corn kernels at the farm down the road. The big field near the beach is covered in goose poop.
I start to worry that I have not had enough fresh corn. Or tomatoes.
It is truly dark by 8:00 and the sun is setting earlier and earlier.
Boats, docks and rafts are being hauled out of the water for winter storage.
Sports fans’ have switched the conversation from the Sox to the Pats.
The first splash of red has appeared on the swamp maple by the farm down the road.
The beach is empty or almost empty and I’m starting to hum. Welcome September and the changing seasons. Bon appétit!
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
About 12 ounces mushroom caps, cleaned and stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
6 ounces mixed baby greens
2 – 3 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Put the sliced onion in a small container or bowl, add enough vinaigrette to generously coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to several hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Roast, cup side up, for 10-15 minutes. Turn the caps over and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes. The mushrooms will be nicely browned and shrunken. When the mushrooms are cool enough to handle cut in large strips and reserve.
Put the walnuts on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toast for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned.
To serve: Toss the greens with the marinated onions. Add more vinaigrette if necessary to lightly coat the greens. Put the greens on individual plates or a large platter; arrange the mushrooms on top of the greens. Sprinkle with crumbled gorgonzola and toasted walnuts.
3 cloves garlic
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Put all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender, process until well combined. Slowly add the olive oil and process until thick and emulsified.
What are your favorite signs that fall has arrived? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.
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