Farewell Summer, I Shall Not Miss Thee

The grill, covered and neglected in this cold weather

As I sit at home on this gloomy, cold day in the Mid-Atlantic, it seems like so long ago that the summer heat of August was blazing down on us, rendering me miserable and cranky in my home and kitchen. While I know that many of you  lament summer’s passing, and the associated end of grill season, I have been looking forward to the change in weather for some time.

With no air conditioning in my kitchen, the summer weather meant that we did little cooking in the kitchen. Grilling became our main source of sustenance. I longed for the days when I could whip up a one-pot meal that would produce leftovers throughout the week. And now, finally, the seasons have changed (perhaps too fast for those of you getting snow), and we are deep in the middle of fall-cooking weather.

So here, readers, are my five top foodie reasons why I am happy to see summer gone:

5. Crock pot

The crock pot never ceases to amaze me. Throw in a bunch of veggies, meat and some liquid, and eight hours later – voila! – a tasty meal. I never use it in the summer, since I don’t really crave a meat and potatoes sort of meal during the summer.

ES on crock pots: BBQ Pulled Pork

4. Hot tea, hot cocoa, hot cider…

Who doesn’t love to curl up with a hot cup of your favorite beverage on a cold fall or winter day?

ES on hot drinks: Homemade Hot Chocolate

3. Red wine

Call me crazy, but in the summer, I have no interest in drinking red wine. And I love red wine, so sometimes I’ll make sangria, but generally, I have to wait until the cool weather hits to really enjoy it.

ES on wine: How to Use Leftover Wine

2. Soups and stews

I miss soups and stews over the summer. I  still make corn chowder and tortilla soup in the summer, but that only happens rarely, and not as fun as making a big pot of stew in the cold weather on the weekend, spreading a delectable smell throughout the house.

ES on soups: Bacon Cream Soup (and how not to make your own pork bone stock)
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Sweet Potato, Spinach and Tofu Tom Yum Soup
Shrimp and Riso Tomato-Curry Soup

1. Baked goods

We are now in the season for cookies, pies, crumbles, cakes…

Of course, I say all this knowing that in several months, I will probably be posting an entry listing the top five reasons I am happy to see summer approaching. Such is the life of a fickle food-lover!

ES on desserts: Sweetzels Ice Cream Sandwiches
Boozy Chocolate Moose
Bacon Marshmallow Sandwiches

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  • Jason Sandeman November 2, 2009  

    I agree with the stews and slow food. Nothing says autumn/winter like when you get inside from the cold, and your house is smelling like the smells from slow cooking. Braised beef with root vegetables, etc.

  • Liza November 2, 2009  

    I agree as well! I have been in a funk and not cooking much lately, but I became inspired with the changing weather and I’ve been looking at crock pot recipes and have already made 2 batches of soup: french onion soup and butternut squash soup

  • Summer November 2, 2009  

    When I lived in a house with no a/c, I turned my screened porch into a sort of outdoor kitchen. I didn’t have a grill, but I did have a power strip, a rice cooker, and a crock pot.

    Now that I live in Florida, my crock pot is still a summertime cooking superstar. (And for what it’s worth, it’s still pretty much summer here. Upper 80’s and sunny for Halloween.) Even though I do have air conditioning (thank God!) I still don’t want to heat up the kitchen by using the oven, and I don’t want to add to my a/c-burdened electric bill. The crock pot is perfect, as it only uses a few cents worth of electricity every hour, and the heat stays contained.

    If you haven’t checked it out already, I highly recommend the blog A Year of Slow Cooking. It taught me that the crock pot can be used for far more than just stews and braised meats. I love the crock pot falafel!

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