Try to find a quote about September that seems applicable to the South. I found some beautiful quotes, “The light shed over the small breakfast table illuminates the day, many days.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Or. “Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp as an apple…” J.K. Rowling. But, as I said, none of these work here in the South. And so, I shall fill the gap.
“September arrived, and with it a suspicious eye raised towards the sky and an inner prayer that the hurricanes be mild or non-existent.”
“The first day of September dawned, bright blue skies, fat blankets of humidity and unrelenting swarms of no-seeums and mosquitoes.”
“Happy September! It’s still 93 degrees, no breezes and a complete lack of things you can currently keep alive in your garden!”
I am always happy for September to roll around though, because by this time of the year I absolutely NEVER want to see or make another Key Lime Pie again. Spoiler alert, most bakeries buy straight egg yolks in a 5 gallon bucket (known in kitchen speak as ‘”egg death”) and so key lime pies are not quite so labor intensive. But, here, on the Island of misfit bakers, we of course use real, fresh egg yolks and every pie gets 4 and every week we go through at least 20 pies. No, I know that’s not a lot, but when you multiply 16 (weeks) times 80 yolks, that’s a lot of egg separating and IT IS A SLOPPY, SLIMY MESS. So, I come to dislike the task immensely. But by mid-September the number decreases slightly, I get over it, and truly, it is an embarrassing whine, but there it is.
And as the happiness continues I am DELIGHTED to announce I have conquered a life goal!!!! I have wanted to be able to do a proper cartwheel my entire life. I can lift heavy things, move heavy things whatever, you have to have upper body strength to bake bread and lift 50 lbs bags all the time, but somehow I could never master a cartwheel. I don’t know why. I suppose it’s what kept me from being an Olympic figure skater. BUT FINALLY, after doing what everyone else in the world is doing and applying logic poorly to seemingly random situations, I came to understand that what I have been doing ALL ALONG is a DONKEY CARTWHEEL.
And once I understood how GOOD I was at said donkey cartwheel, it was as if an immense weight was lifted from my shoulders and I could cross something off my list that has been festering for DECADES.
In a full confession of whining, this August has been rougher than usual, for all of us, the pandemic of doom, the heat and the sense of unease and it has caused me to keep ferreting around for happy, and in pursuit of happy I made the most magical connection with some of my FAVORITE, FAVORITE things and I will share them here so you too can lose yourself down a magical wormhole, if only for a moment. You know I adore “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton
And there was a cartoon made of the book back in 1952. I am not a huge fan of cartoons, but I am smitten with Mary Blair and somehow it had escaped me that MARY BLAIR and BILL PEET brought Ms. Burton’s darling book to life in this little cartoon. Do watch! CLICK HERE TO WATCH Give yourself a minute and watch the cartoon and then click on the Mary Blair link and lose yourself for a while in all her beautiful illustrations. It will make you happy! Why, she even manages to make chicken coops magical!
But cooler temps will come, THEY WILL. And when they do, we have been making plans like mad! Our newest obsession is flower fortune telling and making crazy things happen in our backyard. It’s tricky in high summer because the biting flies here are truly menacing and unless you are decked out like a beekeeper you tend to end up quite welt-y and not in a Eudora type way. This tiny book by my babushka is from 1846 and is absolutely fascinating. I have no idea it’s worth, try to find a first edition online. But it is PURE T. MAGIC and I love it! As is the “Backyard Adventure” book! Heads up, if you are a family member, this is going to be under the tree at Christmas. This gal is a creative genius and this stuff is FUN! Here’s her website https://www.kissmyaster.com/ go! I also received a SPECTACULAR camera from a wonderful friend that Mom tucked into one our old camera bags so I no longer have to share a camera with the-man-who-is-convinced-i-destroy-all-technology. Maybe I do shut down computers and registers wherever I go, and maybe I have stopped several eco-drive watches and yes, I have drowned phones in boiling butter, pureed bananas and cold brew coffee but I have NEVER injured a camera, so there.
I had a wonderful time watching the phases of my ranunculus this week, such a lovely flower, even as it’s petals drop. And all my animals seemed to do nothing but whuffle about for snacks, none of them ever stopped eating-ever! Perhaps they are mentally getting ready for winter fur growth? Not sure. But have been getting beds and pots ready for fall planting and immensely enjoying planning different menus around different countries I shan’t be visiting this year and so I leave you with this mysterious haiku as a hint to next week’s menus.
of mother’s berry jam –