It's August. I have a couple of friends who, like me, can't help but start to fret this time of year. Summer is almost over! It's hard to enjoy it when you know what's coming around the corner: back to school, cold weather, the dark days of winter. Yeah, yeah some of you love fall, but to me it's just a dire warning of dark days to come. We girls of summer constantly ask each other and wonder, why does summer go so fast and winter last...so...damn...long?
August is a time when you kind of have to give up and get to work at the same time.
Here's what you have to give up: weeding. Just forget it. The weeds have won again for this year. The other thing to give up is the idea that you're going to get everything on your summer wish list done. Consider yourself lucky if you got half of it done. But there is always more, isn't there? Whether it's a garden project or a day trip or a party you thought of having...let it go. Let it go until next year. Or just get over it. It's too late now, anyway. The other thing to give up on is the idea that you were finally going to "get in shape" and have a perfect beach body. Just be grateful if you had a few good runs or got in some other physical activities. Yes, wave jumping and floating in water count (because I SAY SO).
Still on my list for this summer: floating down the Delaware River in an inner tube and making a pilgrimage to Asbury Park. It's still possible, but there are only a few weeks left....
While August seems like it should be the laziest month because, frankly, just about everybody takes off for vacation, even if they aren't French, it's also when everything in the garden becomes RIPE and INSISTS on being picked, cooked, preserved, and in general dealt with. Most of August I have a backache from standing over the counter and stove chopping and stirring. Tomatoes into sauce. Basil into pesto. Savoy cabbage into...savoy cabbage. Drying the cayenne pepper to go with the savoy cabbage. Digging up the garlic and potatoes. Oh, and that giant bushel of pears from the tree we just happened to discover in our wild front yard? I can't let them go to waste! And then I get obsessed. Is this the year to finally try pickles? At least refrigerator pickles? Oh, the drama of it all! But at least I know I'll have the tastes of summer all winter long in my freezer when I need to remember what sunshine tastes like.
I could cry. But I'm determined to enjoy every last minute, even though it's like a sad movie, and you already know what its ending will be. Tragic. Where are my tissues?
I have to go outside and lie on my couch and listen to the crickets and soak it all in. Because summer is the best thing ever and it's almost over, and I wish it weren't. But it is.
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com