Is it just me, or did this summer end before it even began? Maybe it was the weather: weird heat waves in May and June—countered by 60° days in July—and rain on just about every consecutive Saturday. My garden is certainly confused. Here it is, late August, and the big tomatoes are only just beginning to blush red, the eggplants barely emerging from their blossoms.
Maybe it’s the perennial pressure to “get it all done” before summer ends that speeds it along. Gotta eat that prized lobster roll. See a play, arrange some flowers, picnic in a park. Visit a museum, catch a ball game, climb a mountain, read five books. Gorge on vanilla ice cream, melting on top of a homemade pie. Eat corn on the cob. Take a bike ride, weed the garden, swim in the sea. There are only eight weeks to pack it all in, to savor the endless, unstructured “dog days of summer.” Blink and you could miss it.
Maybe I was so distracted by the news that I let summer pass me by. What back in June seemed like a low point, a political climate at its nadir, really outdid itself by mid August. We, as Americans, deserve better than this. We are better than this. Sometimes I feel like I live from one news cycle to the next, from outrage to outrage, without even a moment to breathe in between. It’s exhausting. Fall—and the comfort I take from its busy schedules and routines: carpools, homework, soccer, library books—can’t come quickly enough. I’ve already seen leaves changing color. The school supplies have arrived in the mail, backpacks are ready to be filled. And this magazine, full of autumnal flavors—ramen noodles, mushrooms, chilies and pears—will help you focus on fall in all its multicolored glory. Read about hidden restaurants in technical schools and an annual driveway pig roast creating a community around it. Hear about a Senegalese restaurant in Jamaica Plain from its fascinating chef. Plan a birthday party in the park, for your kid or for yourself. Get more perspective on local farming from John Lee and learn about a historic farm property reinvigorated in the 21st century. Try handmade pierogi with innovative fillings, drink bottled bone broth, taste Persian ice cream and mix up a batch of cocktails to bring on your next outdoor adventure.
There’s only one more week of summer before fall sets in. You know what I plan to do? Unplug, log off, slow down, decompress and Tune. It. All. Out. Read another book in the hammock. Eat another juicy peach. Wait patiently for those tomatoes and eggplants in the garden and then, with care, make ratatouille. October’s first frost is just around the corner.
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, vegetable gardener and managing editor of Edible Boston. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org