About a month or so ago, at the zenith of this summer's prolonged heat spell, I created a widget on my iGoogle page: Days until signs of fall.
Those of you who have been with me for a while know how much I love late summer. It is a season in between, the best of two glorious months, Sweltering July and Shimmering September. For every two or three warm days, there is one like today: Gray and cool with hints of more days to come.
(I rhapsodize about this every year.)
My iGoogle widget was set for Aug. 8, not a lucky guess, but an educated estimate. I pay great attention to the harbingers of seasonal shifts. Both the cicadas and the crickets were early this year, but the first truly cool day was right on target.
To celebrate, I baked Apple-Prune Crisp, inspired by this recipe on Epicurious.
I made a few changes, based on Epicurious reader comments.
- To cut down on too much sweetness, I drizzled lemon juice on the already-tart apples.
- I cut down on the amount of sugar by about a third.
- I used almond meal flour, instead of all-purpose flour.
- I had no hazelnuts, but I did have pecans, peanuts and mixed nuts with cinnamon. I used these and added sea salt to the topping. I like a blend of sweet and salty.
While it was baking, I stood on the side porch, the old service entrance where the stove vent is located. The air was filled with the faint aroma of woodsmoke - Neighbor Jerry? - and sweetness.
Yes. This is it.