AUGUST REMINDS ME of my childhood: the sticky hot humid days in Chicago, barely relieved by the big swamp cooler in the basement. We had no air conditioning and my two sisters and I slept in an upstairs attic-type room, catching what little breeze we could from the open window and a fan. A thunderstorm was an evening’s entertainment: From our screened-in back porch, we’d listen to the thunder, watch the streaks of lightning and smell the oncoming rain.
But best of all, August meant we would pack up the car (I always had a case full of books) and leave the city for a rented cabin in Ephraim, Wisconsin, or South Haven, Michigan, where we’d swim in Lake Michigan (Yes, we did that at home too, but here it was even better) and eat fresh peaches and blueberries, corn and tomatoes, trout and smoked whitefish, and bakery white rolls. And cherry pie.
Wherever you are, fresh produce is abundant this month, and dinner doesn’t have to be salad. On these lazy days, I love to center an August meal around corn on the cob. Or potato and green beans in a vinaigrette. Or cherry tomatoes, as in the photo above, roasted (or sauteed) with some garlic and oil and sprinkled with basil, to dress a pasta. With a side of green beans with lemon zest, and a simple salad with beets (dressed in another vinaigrette) and hazelnuts, it was a light but satisfying meal that didn’t take long at the stove.
This kitchen blog began in 2009 with Blackberry Cobbler No. 8, a recipe for the eighth version I had made of blackberry cobbler.
This week my daughter and I picked blackberries (it’s been unusually hot here so it’s almost end-of-the-season) for a cobbler and decided that the No. 8 version is still hard to beat, with very tender biscuits with a touch of cornmeal. There’s not too much sugar in it, and a dollop of ice cream on the warm cobbler will suit it just fine.