So Long, Sweet Summer

Anyone who has ever started blogging knows what the first post is like. In your head swirl petty concerns–will I come off like a sweet, charming, young blogger? Will I come off like a demeaning loser? Will they get that my header is a joke? Will they get any of my jokes? Will too many pictures of blueberries pinhole me? Should I attract readers with stunning photos of the Hamptons? Should I adopt a devil-may-care persona and talk mostly about pig fat and nitrogen?

And finally: should I post this to my facebook and show my whole social circle my first attempt at flight? It’s around this moment in the cycle when I rethink the whole blogging thing. I think this pre-first-post mental turmoil is the reason WordPress is hanging onto not three, not four, but NINE domains for me. (Sorry WordPress, I don’t know how to get rid of them–the “delete” message makes the act seem so final.)

It looks like I’m going to say “hello” with a “so long,” then–so long to summer. (Don’t panic! There is a month left of summer, technically). Since real life begins again tomorrow, though, so long snappy tomatoes and soggy zucchini, so long sweet peas, so long cheap onions–and hello to l’automne. But first, here are some photos of my summer:

My good friend Gary’s Garden (above, shack at his humble abode). Complete with a house he built himself, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired furniture (yep, he built it), a huge garden, and a swing.

The flora.

The fauna.

The loot.

The quiche we made, with a juicy, tasty, incomparably homegrown tomato caprese salad.

Anyway, I guess I’m not doing this correctly. There is meant to be a recipe at the end of each post so that your readers can do something, but seeing as the quiche and caprese ingredients will no longer be as inexpensive and fresh as they were in June, here’s the salad I made this evening–a late summer smorgasbord of sweet end-of-August veggies. A shameful amount! They taste all the better knowing I’ll soon replace them with soups and starches.

Easy, Fresh Summer Slap Salad (why not? who’s gonna stop me?)

2 cups fresh spinach
½ cup fresh green beans, ends removed, chopped into one-inch bits
¼ cup fresh garbanzo beans
½ of a medium avocado, cubed
½ cup assorted cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
Handful steamed edamame beans
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Squeeze from half a lemon
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Steaming the beans: Boil an inch of water in a medium saucepan, fitted with a steaming tray. Put garbanzo and green beans on the steaming tray. (I used pre-cooked edamame, but you could add that in here, too, if you’re using fresh–they may take a bit longer than the other two types, though.) Steam for about 5 minutes, or until the beans don’t taste starchy anymore.

2. Assemble the salad: Lay a bed of spinach on a large plate, cover with tomatoes, avocado, and beans. Drizzle with olive oil (the fruitier the better), a generous squeeze of lemon, and salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Enjoy! I recommend a Prosecco to wash it down…

So long sweet summer (any Dashboard fans remembering a sappy sophomore year about now?)
Hello, WordPress! Now that wasn’t so hard. First down, many more to go!


  1. Rhonda Dube · · Reply

    I loved it Dollface! All those years of cramming, writing papers and essays for all hours of the night (and morning) and all the stress and worry, you can finally show the fruits of your labor. I’m so very proud of you. And your writing still makes me well up with tears because your writing shows how beautiful you are inside and out. Oh! And smart too!

  2. Rhonda Dube · · Reply

    Oh, and I can’t wait to make the salad. It looks great!

  3. My first comments! Thank you! Working on Post 2… The salad is deelish, as they say, but hurry while the beans are still snappy. 🙂

  4. I support you wholeheartedly, Randle. So much so that rather than risk defiling your recipes by making them on my own, I’ll simply sponge off what you make.

  5. Diane Farrell · · Reply

    Yours is the first blog that kept my attention until the end. Does that make me shallow? Please write more!

  6. […] 2010, before I tried my hand at Teach for America in Houston, I spent a blissful three weeks out at Gary’s shop. Gary made sure no one lost a hand while the man (a.k.a., Shorty, a.k.a., le fiancé) and I sanded […]

  7. […] shared this risotto with Gary, the bloke who married us. You might remember him from my very first post (!). I talked about how he is a wood worker and artiste, and cook, etc. Anyway, last week he was […]

  8. […] though “food writer and cook” felt like part of my identity since I published my first feeble post, I was holding out, acting like I wasn’t that invested in the work I do […]

  9. […] started as a place for me to talk about food, even though I had decided to leave the professional cooking […]

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