I find myself resisting the change of seasons this year. The spring was so rainy and dark that it seemed more like winter than spring, and consequently the summer felt altogether too short. Never mind that we had three weeks of intense, scorching heat in July, or that I escaped to Scotland for a lovely holiday. I can scarcely remember it. Now the sun is fading ever earlier, and the nights are getting chilly. I’m wrapping my sweater around me in the mornings before I sit down to write.
I should be anticipating short ribs and apple butter and evenings spent combing through cookbooks for holiday menu ideas, but I don’t want to. The good tomatoes only began to arrive at the market a few weeks ago! I haven’t sampled the best gelato in Northern California yet! I’m not tired of late-evening dinners cooked on the grill and eaten outside!
But time stops for no one, and I have no choice but to shuffle into the darker, colder months along with everyone else.
We stopped at Tajine for dinner last night, a tiny little oasis of authentic Moroccan cuisine in the Tenderloin. As the fog swirled up the streets, we tucked into a warm, fragrant b’stilla. Its crackly phyllo dough shell was decorated with diamonds of cinnamon and sugar, and its insides were stuffed with ground chicken and almonds. We had scarcely pushed the plate away when a dish of steaming couscous arrived, decorated with chunks of lamb and stew-soft pieces of pumpkin and carrot. In between bites of fork-tender chicken cooked with preserved lemon and tangy black olives, we sipped hot mint tea and felt its warmth in the tips of our fingers. If anything would entice me to embrace the cold season, this would be it.
Yes, Labor Day is over, but I can’t bear to pack away my beloved white pants yet (three pairs at last count!). I pulled out my black trench coat a few days ago. I’m eyeing the brown corduroys hanging in the back of my closet. I skimmed through a recipe for Coq au Vin, but closed the book without marking the page.
I’ll get around to the idea soon enough. I’m just hoping for a few more weeks of bright tangerine sunshine + tomatoes + gelato before it’s all over.