My husband, Clif, and I have made an August resolution. We have decided to squeeze out as much fun and enjoyment as we can from this last month of summer. We both know what’s around the corner—-many, many months of dark and cold where we spend way too much time inside. So this month, our philosophy is this: let us bike when we can and eat on the patio as often as possible. In addition, we want to go to the summer art exhibits and get together with family and friends. (But then again, we always like to get together with family and friends, regardless of the time of year.)
The month is still new, and already we are off to a good start. Last weekend, we went to the Portland Museum of Art to see the William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism. Our son-in-law, Mike, joined us as did our nephew, Patrick, who is majoring in art at the University of Maine at Orono. We spent an absorbing hour or so looking at works by Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne, Rodin, and many other artists from that period. I especially enjoyed hearing Mike’s and Patrick’s take on art. Both young men have a terrific feel for art, and they bring a fresh perspective when they look and comment.
On Sunday, our friends Margy and Steve came over for a barbecue. The day started out sunny and warm, but this summer, the rain never stays away for very long, and on Sunday it came just before Margy and Steve arrived. Never mind! When we saw the sky turn gray and heard the thunder rumbling nearby, Clif quickly made some of his legendary grilled bread, which we all ate inside while it poured outside. However, by the time we had finished with wine, beer, grilled bread, and other appetizers, the rain had stopped, and the sun came out. With towels to mop up the water, we went to the patio for grilled chicken and grilled zucchini topped with feta and a sprinkle of thyme. We also had Farmer Kev’s new red potatoes and his green beans. Lots of good talk about theater, politics, and other matters. Then back in we went for dessert—-Margy’s tasty banana bread and my homemade vanilla ice cream.
Yesterday, I went to my friend Barbara’s house for talk, tea, and dessert. She served a selection of goodies, and while they were all tasty, her chocolate chip pie was especially good. Because the chocolate chip pie is a Hannaford recipe—unfortunately it’s not on their website—I can’t really share it with you, but this recipe from Southern Food comes close. The Hannaford recipe uses 1 cup of brown sugar rather than the granulated sugar and an extra teaspoon of vanilla. It cooks at a very low temp—300 degrees—for 55 minutes to an hour. The taste is similar to that of pecan pie, but not as rich. I plan on making it for our next gathering.
So August, here we come. A great beginning to what is usually a beautiful month.