You Know Summer Is Over When … & Baked Haddock with Fresh Tomatoes & Herbs

Dogs_Morning_MistThe official start to autumn is still a week away but … let’s face it, summer’s over. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. True or not, the changes seem to take place overnight. There are lots of clues that summer is over. Some are subtle but too many hit you over the head like a sledgehammer.

In case you were wondering, or in denial, here are ten signs that summer is over …

1. Sunlight doesn’t pour through the skylight at 5 a.m. and it’s dark by dinnertime. It won’t be long before you need a flashlight on your morning walk. Maybe you already do.

2. The first trees turn a bold and brilliant red. Foliage will not be at its peak for at least a month but a few turn early. Unfortunately, early color could mean the tree is in trouble. The culprit could be stress from road salt, invading critters or storm damage.

3. It may be sixty-five degrees, even seventy or eighty, at noontime but you need socks and a sweater, maybe a scarf, in the morning and again in the evening. No matter how hard you fight it, you are forced to turn the heat on when you first wake up. You’re not alone. You smell wood smoke on your early morning jaunts and greet other walkers with some variation of, “gosh, it’s nippy!”

4. Mountains of Halloween candy are piled high on supermarket shelves. At least one or two, maybe more, new horror movies hit the silver screen. The weekend-long Elm Street Nightmare marathons will come later.

5. Back-to-school ads have left the airwaves. Instead of backpacks and notebooks, politicians now vie for our attention. Some are trying to keep their jobs while others strive for new ones.

6. The farmers’ market shuts down and the circus comes to town. By circus, I mean Barnum and Bailey not the democrats and republicans.

7. You’re feeling a bit frantic about all those summer projects you haven’t finished (or started). In my case, it was the porch trim. The project had only been in the pipeline for five years. I was bursting with pride; it was finally complete! Except, wouldn’t you know it, the porch and garden furniture looked dowdy beside the bright, new trim. Proud to say, that’s done now too. Phew!

8. You get a cold. At first, you think it might be hay fever but those achy muscles tell you it’s not. A nice cup of tea, an aspirin, a blanket and a book (read nap) on the couch clear it up in no time.

9. The farm stand is loaded up with apples and pumpkins. Good thing, since you crave something, anything but especially muffins, with apples or pumpkin. Don’t forget to add a dash of spice.

10. With cooler evenings you’re happy to take the cooking back inside. Even if you’re not quite ready to break out the soup kettle, it’s comforting to turn the oven on.

Enjoy the sunny days and cool evenings of late summer! (I dare you to call it early fall.) Bon appétit!

Baked Haddock with Fresh Tomatoes & Herbs
Take advantage of the late summer harvest and bake up some delicious haddock (or scrod or cod*) with beautiful, fresh tomatoes and herbs. Enjoy! haddock_tomatoes_herbs
Serves 4

Olive oil
About 1 1/4 pounds haddock filets*
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
3-4 thin slices of red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, divided
Dash or to taste hot sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil a 9×13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Put the fish in the dish in a single layer.

Put the tomatoes, onion, capers and about half the herbs in a bowl, season with hot sauce, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add the mayonnaise and stir to combine. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the fish and spread in an even layer.

Put the breadcrumbs and remaining herbs in a bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with a little olive oil and toss again. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the tomatoes and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through, moist and flaky.

* This recipe also works great with scrod or cod.

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One Year Ago – Pumpkin-Ginger Muffins
Two Years Ago – Roast Pork with Apples & Onions
Three Years Ago – Lemon Roasted Salmon with Beurre Blanc
Four Years Ago – Wild Mushroom Soup
Five Years Ago – Rustic Apple Tart
Six Years Ago – Oktoberfest Sausages & Sauerkraut

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What’s your favorite sign (or least favorite) that summer is over? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

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