Saturday, September 11, 2010

The End of Summer

After a week that found me buying tights and unpacking my boots not to mention scrambling to find the season's first pumpkin for pumpkin soup (hooray), we got a Saturday with blue skies and a warm breeze.  I think the plant world knows that this might be summer's last hurrah before we settle down for some hearty stews chock full of root vegetables.  The grocer's stand seemed to bursting with peaches, melons, tomatoes and currants.  I had a hard time containing myself, and I would have bought those quinces if I hadn't remembered that my canning supplies didn't make the trans-Atlantic boat ride last fall.  I'm still mourning the loss of my mom's canner, but the sadness was quickly replaced by, let's face it, a disproportionate for the situation feeling of joy when I saw the crate full of ARTICHOKES.  I didn't even know artichokes had a fall season, which explains my surprise.  We scooped them up along with some great Hass avocadoes that were on super sale and hurried home so we could get on with the rest of our day.

I love Amsterdam in the waning days of summer, because everyone celebrates a warm weekend day like it will be the last one for at least six months.  Strangely, that seems to be the action Amsterdammers take whenever there is a warm weekend, but maybe it felt more pronounced to me today, because I know the short days of fall are right around the corner.  We took the dog to the park, just like every other dog owner, and threw tennis balls until he flopped into an exhausted heap under a tree.  We window shopped, browsed the bookstore and finally made it to the knitting store.  All in all a wonderful Saturday in the city.  I still can't believe I was craving pumpkin soup on Tuesday and today all I wanted was a salad and steamed vegetables.  Judging by the number of people eating ice cream cones or drinking a white wine, we weren't the only ones in a summer mood.

So here was my tribute to the end of summer in Amsterdam: steamed artichokes, broiled salmon with avocado and lime with a simple salad.  Thank you, Dutch grocers, for making this meal possible.  I'm a little disturbed how the picture highlights my obsession with the color green and my love of Finnish design.

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