Summer Rides Again!

Just when it looked like the summer was gone with the blast of wind and rain we had on Labor Day, it re-appeared in all its balmy, lovely glory.

Well, almost.

The nights are getting down into the forties here–it was 45 degrees when I left the house at 7:30 this morning–but the days are sun-drenched and glorious.

That’s called fall, right?  When you fall for the idea that the summer will never end?

Whatever.  We’re still eating the fruits of our summer gardens, and that’s what really counts!

Last night, my endless summer feast included bounty from both sides of the border–produce transported from my gardens in Vermillion, SD, and that purchased at the Ortonville, MN farmers market (which is formally called the Big Stone Lake Farmers Market).

Late summer veggie feast

There was the yellow Papaya Pear squash, sweet Jimmy Nardello pepper, and Talon yellow onion skillet spiced up with a Hungarian Hot Wax pepper and sauced up with big chunks of an heirloom Caspian Pink tomato–all seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little Mexican oregano.

To cool it down, a sliced Summer Dance cucumber salad with garlic powder, spearmint, salt, and pepper dressed with creamy whole milk yogurt.

The bulk of the produce came from my own gardens–I’m still working my way through many tubs of it, with more to come this weekend.  And that’s after I dehydrated and sauced for most of the day on Sunday.

But elements of the Ortonville area are working their way in–the Caspian Pink tomato and Hot Wax pepper were from Jan Eifealdt–a long-time O-ville market vendor, and the spearmint came from a little patch I spotted outside the house I’m renting.

(Ha! It’s not all flowers!)

Jan said she was having a hard time getting rid of those Hot Wax peppers, but she won’t now that I’m around–it’s my favorite hot pepper variety, and all my plants got eaten by rabbits this year.

The weather is lovely again today, though I don’t think the mercury broke 70 (do they even use mercury anymore in thermometers?).

After the real summer’s heat and heavy humidity, it feels like a blessing, a reprieve, a gift to be savored and remembered once the first flakes fall and the last green tomato, gathered in haste before the frost, ripens.

[Update 9/9/10: Many apologies for attributing the produce I purchased to the wrong vendor.  I am meeting so many new people that I am confusing names!  I have made the appropriate correction in the text above.]


The Big Stone Lake Farmers Market is held on Saturdays from 8:30am-noon and on Wednesdays from 3-6pm on the steps of the Columbian Hotel in downtown Ortonville, Minnesota.

Weather permitting, the market runs through October.


2 responses

    • I have not yet–but I may try to do some apple-cinnamon leather for M with the 5lbs of apples I bought at market last week. I think you can use wax paper instead of the silicone sheets–I’ll look in the book. Did you get the Excalibur book with your machine?

      [Update: Whoops! Don’t use wax paper–the wax will melt (obviously). Use plastic wrap or parchment paper.]

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