Ending Summer

IMG_2530I was listening to NPR early the other morning when the broadcaster commented that the first of September was the meteorological autumn, which marks the beginning of fall. In the mid-Atlantic we are still in periodic waves of heat until the official end of summer, but will definitely look forward to cooler evenings, along with that glorious change of scenery. I cannot wait for the leaves to fall from the trees and crunch beneath my feet while walking on brisk evenings.

As the days become shorter, working throughout the house and garden must be timed precisely before the sun sets. I enjoy working in natural light while it last so, began pickling cucumbers yesterday and did a bit of baking today. There is something about awakening early and having the kitchen to myself that I absolutely love. The pot of coffee is on, the sun barely up and the air is definitely cooler, which is perfect for baking. I also decided to re-work my banana bread recipe, as I have always wanted to spice up the bread by adding ground cardamom, a splash of Limóncello and a bit of almond meal to enhance the texture and taste.

Recipe for Easy Pickles
Clean and scrub cucumbers. Slice thinly and place in bowl sprinkling Kosher salt over the cucumbers allowing them to release water. In a pan combine equal parts white vinegar to sugar, making sure the sugar is completely dissolved by swirling the pan, do not stir with a spoon. Add a touch of water [do this by taste].

Rinse the cucumbers and drain. Transfer pickles to hot sterilized jars and add your spices. Pour the hot vinegar and sugar mixture over the pickles, covering to the rim. I still turn the jars upside down for a few hours before placing on shelf.

Cook creatively,