Let’s pretend that I’m a hot policewoman (fat chance) with an over-sized cop hat, a deafening whistle, and big hands (which are the only things of the above that I have) who can tell you “STOP!” and you’ll freeze in spot because of my alluring dark eyes that pierce your own pupils and trigger an emotion known as “fear”.
That’s what I want to say to summer right now. Stop right there, mister or missy (I can’t make up my mind whether I should emasculate or effeminate summer), you’re not going anywhere till I’m finished.
(Did you notice how many parentheses I used? I think that’s grammatically unhealthy.)
Well, I don’t think I’m finished with summer. Are you finished with summer? Did you complete that summer to-do list yet? My list of expectations was relatively short compared to lists I made for my previous summers. Golly I was an ambitious, unrealistic little girl. My current list consists of variations on my ultimate goal to lose some of that thigh fat accumulated from cookie and cake munching during the school year and to read some delicious thriller novels.
I did the above 2. And now I feel like I should have set a longer list of expectations because, I’m sorry to admit it, I’m actually looking forward to the school year. It’s my sophomore year in college! A new year, a fresh page, new classes, new friends, new student clubs to join, new places to drink coffee, new clothes, new shoes, and an older me. I almost smiled with excitement as I read the previous sentence.
And, along with my excitement for fall, summer seems to be pretty excited for fall too. It’s peppering our skies with clouds, throwing in a few rain showers here and there, and blowing winds that make my maple tree leaves fall. Most of all, it’s throwing my sister along with all of my high school friends from Bellevue back into school on August 30.
We Western Washingtonians are spoiled in how we usually wait until after Labor Day Weekend to skedaddle back to school. But not this year. The Bellevue kids are back to school in August.
August for Pete’s sake! August?!?!
But don’t feel down, Bellevueites (coining new terms is a hobby), Natalie will save your day! Because…summer is really not yet over. Just ignore the symptoms of Fall, and think about all the symptoms of summer that still exist.
For one, I was just at Lake Chelan yesterday and strolled around in shorts and a t-shirt. Definitely still summer. I also picked strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries from a fruit orchard. Also summer.
Let’s see what else…
I woke up to a lawnmower this morning.
I saw a pick-up truck full of dames in bikinis and lads with six-pack abs on the highway back to Seattle (they were standing in the back of a pick-up truck and yelling on a highway).
Even if you’re in school, bet you can still pull off walking around in short shorts without getting stares.
And I also baked something with nectarines in it! Summer fruit alert.
Brown Butter Nectarine Buckle (From Smitten Kitchen)
3/4 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 190 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons (9 grams) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
Pinch of allspice
1 cup (7 ounces or 200 grams) sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk or buttermilk
1 1/2 pounds nectarines, halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Reserved butter from cake (above)
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces or 64 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Brown your butter: Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns. Set aside and let cool (the fridge will hasten this along).
Prepare you pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch round cake pan, springform or cast iron skillet with parchment paper and butter the paper and rest of the pan generously; set aside.
Make the cake: Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and allspice in medium bowl to blend. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup cooled browned butter (set aside remaining 1/4 cup for topping), sugar and then eggs, one at a time. Stir in milk or buttermilk. Stir dry ingredients into this wet mixture; mix until just combined and spread batter in prepared pan. Toss nectarine wedges with lemon juice and arrange them in a single layer on top of the batter.
Make the streusel and bake the cake: Stir remaining brown butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt together until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the nectarine-topped batter with crumbs. Bake until top is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack.
See? I told you it’s still summer. Forget your excitement for the school year and the sudden change in temperature summer’s showing. Summer lives on! So eat your summer fruit, wear those short shorts, strut around with sunglasses propped comfortably on your nose, and savor the last bit of summer before it really goes away.