Summer is trailing along like a kid being dragged out of the cereal aisle

Summer is trailing along like a kid being dragged out of the cereal aisle
                        

“Oh yes, Labor Day is coming up. I’ll have to write something about that,” I thought, “picnics and farewell summer, that sort of thing.”

And then I was hearing someone say, “At least this will be a short week with Labor Day.”

Just like that, it crept up and zinged by like a house cat with the zoomies. Labor Day is already behind us with summer trailing along like a kid being dragged out of the cereal aisle.

I didn’t get a picnic, and the heat of the entire week was so bad I think we just made scrambled eggs most nights or settled for bread, cheeses and iced tea.

It’s hard to gin up any interest in cooking when it’s in the upper 90s and so humid the AC unit leaps off its pad and stands out front with “UNFAIR TO APPLIANCES” striker signs.

So summer is slipping away, but at least fall is advancing on us with torrential rains and hurricane leftovers and sweet, sweet open windows and chilly breezes.

It’s enough to make you start lighting the fall-scented candles and stop throwing the down comforter on the floor before climbing into bed. And I’m more than ready to get busy on the list of heavier, more complex things to eat once the chill has reliably settled in.

Keep this between you and me: There are acres of maturing soybeans outside my door, and the chance to make up bowls of fresh edamame rather than the frozen stuff is making me understand how some folks are moved to petty larceny. Never fear. I’ll ask permission from the grower, probably.

Here are a couple of easy dishes to make during this weather-transition time when we’re seeing later-season vegetables ready to pick.

CILANTRO LIME SLAW

1/4 head green cabbage, core removed

1 carrot

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine

1 small bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

3 tablespoons lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice the cabbage and grate the carrot. Add them to a large bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients separately and then mix with the cabbage and carrot. You also could try this with plain yogurt.

OHION STRAWS

1 large peeled yellow onion, halved and sliced paper thin.

1 cup buttermilk

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Canola or vegetable or peanut oil for frying

Put the sliced onions into the buttermilk to soak for about an hour. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a deep-sided pot or deep fryer, using a candy thermometer, to about 375 F.

Drain the onions and give them a good shake in a strainer. Add them to the flour mixture, tossing well. Lift a small fist-sized bunch of the onions from the flour, shaking off excess, and fry in the oil until golden, about two minutes.

They’ll feel soft in the oil but will crisp up once you take them out. Continue frying in batches until all the onions are done.

I suggest allowing everyone to add salt as they prefer at the table as they’re easy to over salt at this point. Serve with steaks or burgers.


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