I am seriously in denial that it is the middle of August, that temperatures are back down to being in the 80s, that my Facebook feed is full of adorable kiddos proudly heading back to school, that Halloween candy has arrived in grocery stores, and that summer — my beloved summer — is nearly over.
I feel like summer just began!
I mean, wasn’t it just yesterday that I was pulling out my tank tops and sandals, and kicking on the a/c for the first time, and getting excited (yes, I get excited) for temperatures to climb into the three-digits, and tasting the sweet summer harvest of peaches, and — I just don’t want it to end. I mean, I love my scarves and riding boots, but I love summer more.
I need to figure out what to do about this lack of warm weather coming my way soon. But in the meantime, the one consolation I have about the impending Season That Is Not Summer is that I happen to really, really love fall food. Namely, soups. I happily enjoy soups year-round, but they seem to be especially comforting in the fall. And one of my favorite transition soups into fall is a good corn chowder, made with fresh summer corn. (Or if that’s not available, canned corn will also make do.) This week, I happened to have a few fresh ears of Kansas corn in my kitchen. So I paired them with some smoky bacon to try and edge my way into just thinking about this season ahead.
Of course, doing so in a tank top and a glass of iced tea with the windows open and Death Cab’s “Summer Skin” on in the background. Because, you know, baby steps.
Over the (now 5!) years that I have been food blogging, I have become accustomed to the random foods that grace my kitchen at some of the most random hours. This was especially true when I had my full-time job on top of blogging.
Grilled steak at 7am on a Tuesday in order to catch the natural light because I would be working late? Sure, we’ll start the day with some protein. Blueberry muffins at 5pm on a Friday after work before heading off to a happy hour? Eh, who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?! Shooting 5 peach recipes in a day because they happened to be absolutely, perfectly ripe that day, and Lord knows when that will happen again? Carpe peach.
But what I have recently realized is that my friends also no longer blink an eye at the quirkyness that is my kitchen schedule. For example, this past weekend I had returned to KC from being out of town and was playing catch up on recipes that I had missed cooking that week. So mid-day, I texted my friend Beth and asked if she’d like to come over for Parmesan baked chicken nuggets, Greek fish tacos (coming soon!), veggie saute, orzo pasta, chocolate cake, and random IPAs that someone left at my house.
I’ve gotta hand it to my neighbors. Even on a sticky, hot, sun-beating-down-on-us summer night in the middle of August, they showed up yet again for our “neighbor nights” this past Tuesday. Just as they have done the Tuesday before that. And the Tuesday before that. And…
Yeah, they basically win the gold star for attendance. And awesomeness.
A few months ago, I discovered that I have a fried-rice-obsessed kindred spirit in my neighbor, John.
This guy may be the first person I’ve met who loves fried rice as I do, and also loves judging sampling it at local restaurants as much as I do. I still hold that my homemade fried rice recipe is my favorite. But it turns out that John and I agree on the fact that a local Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood makes the best fried rice that you can order on a menu.
Guys, I have literally made hundreds of batches of guacamole over the years. Hundreds and hundreds. I’ve made single batches for myself. I’ve made huge batches for parties. I even choose to do most of my grocery shopping at the “Mexican” grocery store near me almost entirely because they have always have a bin of huge, ripe avocados waiting for me. And then once you come home with a bag of avocados each week, you’ve got to use them up quickly, right??
I’m home!!! I’m home, I’m home, I’m home! And after a fun few weeks traipsing around Europe, a 9.5 hour plane ride with a 1-year-old kicking the back of my seat and crying half of the ride, and a nearly lost luggage fiasco, boy did it feel good to walk in the door to my loft last night. And I had three things on my must-happen-immediately list:
1. a big ol’ glass of ice water
2. a full night to catch up on some zzzz’s in my own bed
3. and MEXICAN FOOD