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last glimpse of summer

Rainy picnic | Delightful CrumbI realize that summertime is on its way out. Officially, it’s gone. And for the most part, I’ve bid it happily goodbye—I’m getting pretty jazzed about squash and apples, and I just bought a new sweater.

Yet we’re blessed (and perhaps, we Midwesterners who long for crisp winds and brilliantly hued leaves might also say, cursed) by an Indian summer in the Bay Area, so I can’t say it feels quite like autumn. This is, of course, that strange and stunning in-between, when the seasons are changing but haven’t quite changed—the markets a mix-up of our summer and fall favorites, our bags stuffed at all times with an extra sweater and scarf just in case.

If you’ll humor me, I’d like to offer this one last glimpse of summer. It was busy, I must admit, but lovely, too. I was juggling three jobs plus a handful of freelance gigs, all the while thanking my lucky stars for my teacher husband who had enough free time to do the laundry the whole summer long. My favorite job, by a landslide, was assisting Kimberley with her brilliant book. It made all of the crazy worthwhile. Here we are, out of the kitchen for a change, with the almost-complete manuscript before us.

Manuscript editing | Delightful CrumbOn the home front, Ben and I found time to host visitors, first his parents (also participants in the rainy picnic pictured above)…

Dinnertime with guests | Delightful Crumband then my sister and brother-in-law (that’s them, below, looking tiny on top of the enormous rock). My sister is my only sibling and my oldest pal, and it was so good to have her here for a few days. We spent most of it outside, and it was glorious.

Land's End | Delightful CrumbMuir Woods picnic | Delightful Crumb Outerlands | Delightful CrumbBen and I squeezed in our fair share of Bay Area-based adventuring, and I picked up plenty of treats out on the town (third picture, below: honey cake at 20th Century Cafe. You must go! You must eat this!).

Portrero Hill | Delightful Crumb Ferry Plaza market lunch | Delightful Crumb 20th Century Cafe Honey Cake | Delightful CrumbWe managed to skip town, too, celebrating our first anniversary in the breathtakingly beautiful landscape of Point Reyes (with a stop in Sonoma as well).

Point Reyes clouds | Delightful Crumb Indoor picnic | Delightful Crumb Sir & Star | Delightful Crumb We capped the summer off with a trip back to Michigan, cheering and dancing the night away at a wedding (that well-filled white plate pictured below? Mind-blowing wedding food, I tell you!), hanging with our darling nieces and nephews, catching up with family and friends, eating well.

Nieces & nephews | Delightful Crumb Wedding food! | Delightful Crumb Maru Sushi | Delightful Crumb Marie Catrib's | Delightful Crumb Terra | Delightful CrumbWe exclaimed many times throughout the season how grateful we were for California’s bounty. There were plenty of tomatoes, eaten either straight up with olive oil, balsamic and basil, or piled on top of thick sunflower seed-studded toast along with avocado, ricotta and/or fried eggs.

Market tomatoes | Delightful CrumbAnd there were figs! Gosh, they just don’t get old. I’m still just as obsessed as before. I think my favorite discovery this summer was the glory of fresh figs with baked feta—it’s truly incredible that food can be so good. As for the toasts below, they, too, were delicious. More on this particular preparation soon.

Fig toasts | Delightful CrumbI had the opportunity to visit Dirty Girl Produce to learn more about this great farm’s history and practices and to pick some ruby-red strawberries myself. I wrote about the trip for CUESA.

Dirty Girl Farm | Delightful CrumbAll summer long, I filled my hands with stone fruits and zucchini and all the other summertime stars, baked cakes full of berries, assembled pies and crisps, made various ice creams as well as Sara’s fantastic and adorable oat and chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches, topped everything with plenty of fresh herbs.

And I ate it all, and I was glad and grateful.

Toasty oats | Delightful Crumb Eggplant sauce & polenta | Delightful Crumb Zucchini noodles | Delightful Crumb Sara Forte's ice cream sandwiches | Delightful CrumbAlright then, autumn: I’m ready for you now.

I was pleased to be featured this week on the “At the Table With” column of PAPER/PLATES, the food-and-literature blog run by Amina Elahi. Click over to read about my favorite book, current cooking obsessions and philosophy on blogging.

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