Yup, Summer’s officially over


Toasted cheese









‘Farewell BLT. Welcome Toasted Cheese’

When I was a kid back in the Midwest the highlight of our summer was the Clinton County Fair. It was hot, it was dusty. It was noisy, it was crowded. But it had carnies and cotton candy and corn dogs. We loved getting sick on the rides and even sicker on the food. (We also used to have a blast arguing over which high school girl was going to be crowned Miss Clinton County Fair, but that’s another story.)

But the Fair always made my Mom sad. She said it was because Fair Time, even though it was right at the height of ‘calendar summer’ — July, for heavens’ sakes — meant, for her, that Summer Time was pretty much over. I never understood this until I got older and summer started lasting ten minutes.

Anyway. According to the calendar, today is the day Summer is officially over, the ‘end’ being September 21 (or is it 22 this year?) But I say ‘calendar schmalendar’. We all have our own, very personal, ways of deciding when Summer is over, or about to be. For some, it’s Labor Day. For others, it’s when the kids go back to school. For my mom, it was when the Fair rolled into town. For me, it’s when I dust off the griddle and fix myself a toasted cheese.

Speaking of which, when I googled ‘toasted cheese sandwich’ I not only came up with the tasty photo at the top of this post, but with this absolutely hilarious recipe. Which is not a joke (at least I don’t think so; it’s from allrecipes.com):

Um, duh. How to make a toasted cheese sandwichOkay. Everybody got that printed out and laminated? Now, I didn’t google a recipe for ‘tomato soup’, but I can predict how that would go: ‘grasp can firmly, apply can opener to top, pour into pan, heat till desired temperature’. Maybe even ‘ladle into bowl, spoon into mouth’.

But before I get cracking on today’s lunch, which won’t be toasted cheese, but lovely summery farm stand tomatoes and fresh mozzarella (the calendar, as I write this, says ‘September 21’, so I guess I’m under the wire), I’d like to salute this summer’s summeriest moments.

Thank you, Summer of 2014. You gave us young people getting married in Vermont and Sicily (one we got to go to; one we got to see pictures of) and young people getting educated at Cambridge (we got to go, if only partly to check in on our investment, AKA the Child).

Oh, Summer of 2014. You gave us house guests arriving with food and wine and leaving with sunburns and tick bites. You gave us drives to New England, train rides in the Cotswolds, and tramps all over Cambridge. Because of you, we got to visit Whitmore Hall, the Wallace Collection, and the Scott Polar Institute. Closer to home, this was the summer of sisters on the beach, slack lines in the yard and Grammas on motorcycles.

We partook (is that a word?) of tea and crumpets, teensy wedding canapés, burgers and dogs, corn (yesss), tomatoes, Pimm’s Cup, and gallons of G&T. We thank you, Summer of 2014, and salute you with this (short, very short) little video. Thank you, Summer, for the memories. And thank you, Sheryl Crow, for the music:


Okay, I’ve shared probably more than I should, at least for one blog post. Now it’s your turn. What were your most memorable moments of Summer 2014? Or, if that’s too heady a notion, what’s your favorite ‘recipe’ for toasted cheese? Or tomato soup, for that matter? (I already have a really tasty recipe for White Bean and Kale Soup, which you can try if you click here).

Oh, and if you’re really into nostalgia and that sort-of-happy sort-of-sad feeling, check out my previous post:

Gone Baby Gone

Amagansett, New York. September 2014

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

8 thoughts on “Yup, Summer’s officially over

  1. drallisonbrown

    Sorry, but I can’t remember what I ate for dinner last night, let alone my favorite memory of summer 2014 🙂 My husband, from WI, also ‘toasts” his cheese rather than grilling it…like I do. Nevertheless, it is delish with tomato soup, especially on a cold day. Down here – SC – our fair is in late October. To me, that means Fall has officially arrived.

  2. John Colledge

    There are lots of tramps in Cambridge? 🙂 I love these little differencese in English and ‘Amercanish’!

    One of the highlights of our summer was definately meeting The Whitmores at Whitmore Hall. 🙂 It was a great shame it was only a ‘ships that pass in the night’ couple of hours but thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we have been able to keep in touch.

    As for the toasted cheese sandwich, it soulds as if there may be more health and safety issues involved in making one this way than a deep fried Mars bar. And they say the Scottish diet needs to be changed! 🙂

    Patti Smith, ‘the grandmother of punk’. Hadn’t listened to her in years. Sounds not unlike one of my all time heroes, the late Lou Reed.

    Post shhh you know what, we are still trying to avoid the ‘R’ word, thought lots of lively debate on FB.

    Keep up the good work.


    • Hahahaha! Yes, those ‘tramps’ in Cambridge! And yes, that chance meeting at Whitmore Hall was certainly lucky. It’s been so much fun following your adventures (the Dangerchef Kitchen!), not to mention riffing about Scottish politics. Thank you!

I'd love to hear from you