My September Kitchen
September is a little bit mind-bending, isn’t it? It’s the warmest month of the year here on the Northern California coast, so just when the light begins to slant and the evenings come earlier, bam! Barbecue weather. The farmer’s markets are an absolute riot – there’s so much produce, even the September crowds can’t keep up. The apples and winter squashes have started popping up, but there are still peaches, and tomatoes, and berries, and grapes. All of which means my kitchen has been a busy place. This September, we’ve:
…enjoyed our first meals outside on our tiny new backyard table. (Okay, fine. I’ve eaten my first meals out back. The gents are rather less keen on al fresco dining. Thanks for the table, Mom!)
…eaten cornbread. So, so much cornbread. (Fun fact: substitute half butter, half bacon grease for the shortening and use bacon grease in the skillet, and watch generally self-contained adults go a little insane. We’ve nicknamed this “crack bread” at our house.) I like it best leftover for breakfast, crumbled in a bowl with chopped fruit and whole milk, eaten like cereal. So far, cherries are my favorite, though peaches are also delicious, and so are chopped, cooked apples (just microwave for 30 seconds to a minute) with a little maple syrup. As an aside, I’ve had good luck substituting a gluten-free all purpose four for the white flour in this recipe.
…canned tomato sauce (simmered overnight in the crockpot this year – hands down the way to go), peach butter, ginger peach jam, pear sauce (all three recipes from the fabulous book Put ‘Em Up), spiced pear butter, apple butter, and apple maple jam. The apples and pears we canned as a group effort at my aunt’s house, but the peaches and tomatoes — yes, that was me, covered in peach juice and sweat, scrubbing burned peach butter off, well, everything 15 minutes before dinner guests were due. Very elegant, I know.
…marked high summer with an annual batch of ratatouille, from Molly Wizenberg’s wonderful book.
…baked and eaten with glee many batches of impossibly easy and improbably delicious bread from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Seriously — if you aspire to bread baking without much success, try this book. It’s amazing (and probably available at the library!).
…made this tomato, herb and goat cheese frittata twice. Before tomato season is done, do yourself a favor and make this. So, so delicious. (For goat cheese-haters, it’s also tasty (though not quite as magical) with cream cheese. And I’ve substituted dried herbs for the fresh with no problems.)
…eaten apples in oatmeal, in muffins, and sliced with sharp cheddar.
…discovered coleslaw. Not Your Mama’s, to be specific. Oh, my.
Peace out, September; you’ve been good to us.