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On occasion, life’s plans have a tendency to overwhelm life’s possibilities. In the month of August I fell victim to that double-edged claim. Overloaded and overjoyed with vacation agendas, catering gigs, wedding celebrations and bonding time with my bestie who is about to become a bride, the myriad possibilities I imagined for timely blog posts escaped me. So did housework for that matter.
My luggage remained permanently packed with summer costumes of every shape (i.e. camping chic, boozy bachlorette and professional chef). Crammed inside a suitcase small enough to shove overhead, but large enough to pack my knives, tasting salts and the two pounds of Dickson’s bacon I brought back to Mr. Mix as a tempting treat for keeping the home fires burning, I squarely packed my sanity alongside increasingly less folded piles of t-shirts. With my A-type organizational skills put to the test, I count myself lucky that lost socks and wrinkled memories turned out to be the only casualties among my August adventures.
Between social calls, The Dinner Belle managed to cater a well-to-do wedding at The Park Avenue Armory and a Real Housewife’s facial yoga brand launch in Naeem Khan’s glittering showroom. Getting back behind the stove always feels like a purposeful place to land when life moves at such a frenetic pace, though building some 800-odd canapés isn’t exactly what I’d call relaxing.
I’m approaching my 5th anniversary as a blogging chef, and as so often happens when the summer winds start to cool and the kids (and Mr. Mix!) go back to school, I find myself in a rather reflective mood. Beach bound weekends filled with carefree wanderings are about to be exchanged for highly scheduled Saturdays and studiously spent Sundays. Instead of leaping from one outdoor adventure to the next, we’ll be closing windows, turning on the heat and turning over the soil to shutter our East Coast gardens. But I’m getting ahead of myself; before the frost we’ll feast upon the harvest!
Our little patch of green still boasts hard tomatoes that are yet to ripen, teeny-weeny jalapeño peppers that are yet to burst with fiery flavor, mammoth zucchini and delicate squash blossoms I have yet to fill with oozing ricotta cheese and fry to golden crispness, and a promising bed of dinosaur kale that should stick around long after the rest of our harvest bounty has withered up.
Holding onto that promise of a homegrown vision for backyard-to-table kale salads, chips and smoothies well into scarf-wearing weather, I find comfort in the seasonal changes that so aptly reflect the mood of the moment both on my plate and in my heart. As summer’s blueberry nights begin to slip away and I catch myself mourning the passage of time, it helps to remember that change begets new challenges from which new rewards–like pumpkin risotto and concord grape sorbet–are born.