Before They Turn the Summer into Dust

In San Francisco, seasons come in spurts, a few sunny days here, a few foggy days there. I wore a sweater and a wool scarf on Tuesday. I’m in a sundress today.

Eating seasonally can be strange when you live somewhere that doesn’t have typical seasons. It doesn’t bother me as much in the winter. We tend to get a handful of summery days in February — just in time to make fresh lemonade with all the local lemons. Summer is harder for me. I associate summer produce with warm weather and San Francisco isn’t exactly known for its summers.

Last Saturday, we arrived home from the farmers market laden with summer produce. After four straight days of sunshine, we looked forward to making ice cream over the weekend. We’d bought strawberries that morning and I planned to bake shortcakes to go with them.

But the City remained coated in a thick fog and ice cream and strawberry shortcake lost their appeal.

You’d think that after nine years in SF, I’d be used to its abrupt weather reversals, but I was still disappointed by this 59 degree June weather. Even Mr. WholeHog, who normally prefers cooler temps, is bothered by it this year. “Is this January or June?,” he grumbled the other day, zipping up his jacket

So last weekend, instead of ice cream, I made granola.

I started making granola this winter, using the recipe for “Killer Granola” from The Cheeseboard: Collective Works — one of my most trusted cookbooks. It’s surprisingly easy to make and uses ingredients that I usually have on hand: butter, nuts, sugar, honey, vanilla and oats. (The recipe calls for coconut flakes and sesame seeds, but I don’t want those in my granola).

Even without the coconut and sesame seeds, the granola is really delicious. I now double the recipe because I often end up eating for breakfast and also for a snack. When the warm weather unexpectedly hits, I like it with yogurt and fresh summer fruit.

Although our wintery weather lingered on through Sunday, I decided not to let the fog keep me from having my strawberry shortcake. The shortcakes weren’t my best effort. But paired with freshly whipped cream and ultra-ripe strawberries, they made for a decadent Sunday night dessert. We ate them on the couch, in our sweaters and warm socks, and pretended that it was summer.

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One Response to “Before They Turn the Summer into Dust”

  1. Debbie Says:

    I am going to try your fave granola recipe. It so happens that I have been looking for one, ever since I actually looked at the price I have been paying for my heretofore favorite, bulk item #321 at SPD. I’ve been buying this for decades. Mr. “wee hog” grew up on it. I have no doubt that the reason I love it and look forward to it whenever I have put by a new stock of it, is that it contains mass quantities of brown sugar and honey. So, god willing, I will report to you very soon whether I think it has the Ebert/Siskel thumbs up or thumbs down “serial” rating.

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