Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ode to the End of Summer Market


There is that moment when the warm of summer begins to be tinged slightly with an edge of crispness. Walking down the sidewalk, you start to question if you saw that right. Wait was there one jaunty yellow leaf peaking out of a fully green tree. No, it’s still summer, you reassure yourself. Summer hasn’t just passed you by, you promise yourself. Fall is well in the distance, you start thinking. After all, your toes are freely traveling in flip flops; your skin is still tan; the rain still smells warm. You forget about this whole thing and keep walking. Then crunch, a brown leaf sticks to underside of your summer shoes. Fall is arriving—in the active tense. It’s a janus moment, fall at the front, summer at your back.




At the market, the last of the summer melons sit almost anachronistically beside winter squash. Tomatoes, those summer jewels, elicit in you equal parts joy for the wealth of summer and melancholy for the bareness of winter. You caress the soft, satiny skin; enjoying it summer bareness. You walk down the farmer’s market allee surveying not just the wares, but the end of the season, the joy of the moment. You look into the face of the farmer’s that you have come to count on over the summer (over the years.) You linger over the radishes reveling in this Easter-bonnet happiness. You chew on beans, raw and redolent of the earth. Then you spend a few minutes coveting, fondling the heirloom pumpkin, tapping on its hard skin you mindlessly pull at your cardigan. As you leave the market, you revel in the mental snapshots of summer, of the farmers, of the food, that you have preserved to hold you through until spring.




Standing in your kitchen, you hesitate over the vegetables. After all, when that last tomato is gone, summer is too. Steeled by anticipation and a little guilt about wasting such loveliness, you set to. You slice into the flesh of a squash, and smell in its fall earthiness. You tear into basil and remember the laughter of running through wet grass. You try to do those farmer’s proud, showcase the truth of those vegetables. Your guests bite into your food and feel the changing of the season.

Menu in Celebration of My Farmer's Market at the Change of the Season:

Rice, miso-lemongrass corn chowder, and red pepper sashimi

Raw tomato raviolo with Almond Cheese in broth

Broiled Hungarian finger food with pickled radishes, pickled beets and crisp daikon

Miso fried mushrooms

5-spice, star anise infused grilled eggplant into red miso garlic sauce


Soft tofu in genmatch tea

Vegan Cincinnati chili of cranberry beans and kidney beans on buckwheat noodles

All-american potato salad with homemade bread and butter pickles

Quick pickled homegrown carrots, celery, radishes and spicy pickled tomatoes


Apple sauce infused sweet tapioca with almond brittle

Kabocha “pie” filled homemade mocha



Asha @ FSK said...

are you kidding!! OMG! What beautiful creations!!! And so wonderfully presented with complete respect for the ingredient!

Joanne said...

If I could stay here in this transition between fall and summer, with all of the fruits and vegetables to perfectly in season, indefinitely. I would do so. I'm going to miss my tomatoes and zucchini and eggplants so very much!

What a lovely tribute you made to all this glorious food. I wonder how you do it.

pam said...

Dang. There is some serious eye candy in these photos!

Johanna GGG said...

wow that is some amazing cooking you have been up to lately - I am on the other end of the season and excited to be buying lovely fresh tomatoes

Barbara Bakes said...

Such a gorgeous array of beautifully photographed food.

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Gorgeous dishes and a lovely tribute to the season's end!

Thistlemoon said...

What a beautiful feast - what a beautiful ode!

Nirmala said...

Beautiful pictures from your farmers market. I know what you mean. It's starting to get cool here too but not as cool as where you are in Ohio! It's soup time, right?

Melissa said...

Love this post. Love the black and whites of the people corresponding to color photos of the dishes made from their goods. Really lovely!

Ben said...

Lighting, exposure, composition. Really lovely.

Payton said...

Wow!! You are such a cooking inspiration!

Living in the South, we haven't started feeling the effects of fall quite yet. It's cold, but the leaves are still green. I'd love to find a beautiful pewter pumpkin like in the picture -- I've never seen that before!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I mean, WOW.

riceandwheat said...

So I've never been to a kaiseki dinner but this is exactly what I imagine it would be like. As I kept scrolling down, I just kept thinking "kaiseki kaiseki kaiseki" because every dish is so beautiful and celebrates the ingredients so wonderfully. I just can't get that soft tofu in genmaicha out of my head - both the photo and the idea are absolutely gorgeous.

e.m.b. said...

I've been very sad at the passings of my local farmer's markets....a few more weeks left, and this next week I have been promised many pumpkins!!!

Your pictures are so beautiful.

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

Such a beautifully-conceptualized (and executed) menu! Lovely all-around.

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

I read your Silk Route Feast on my reader, but it's not here (on your blog) anymore. I loved that as well (and the story).

holly said...


Jean said...

I'm disappointed to see the end of tomato season but I'm also looking forward to autumn's offerings. Pumpkin goodies and hearty stews, I can't wait.

So glad to have come across your blog. :-)

The CFT said...

It's like walking down Shaker.

Brad said...

Both the end of the summer market season and the end of my home garden are sad. I miss all the freshly grown food...just makes winter all that more dull in Cleveland.

Just became a follower of your blog...I like what you are doing here! Be sure to check mine out as well.

Heather S-G said...

Wow...what an amazing post! Beautiful tribute to the end of the season :D

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Beautiful pictures. Where is the market?