Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summer's least by the calendar!

My new Farberware pan - $2 at Salvation Army!

Peaches and sweet corn
Summer.  When I was growing up in Ohio, summer seemed to last forever.  I don't ever remember being hot, except once in a while at night, and then I would take a wet washcloth to bed with me and wave it in front of the fan to get it colder.  We would play outside all afternoon and come, running, at dinner, bright red, and gulp down as many glasses of ice cold milk as we could get away with.  (Usually it was two, then Mom would tell me I had to make the third one last as it was all I would get.)  Then, out we went again, until the fireflies began to light up the darkness, and my dad's whistle would sound.  My dad could whistle so loud we could hear it across all three streets that made up our little development that had been carved out of someone's farmland.  He would whistle, and we knew we had better get up to the house, or we were in big trouble.  We'd finish up in the bathtub, and then, if we were lucky, we could watch t.v. in our pajamas until bedtime. 
Here in Arizona, summer really DOES last forever.  It hit 100 degrees on April 12 this year, and it's likely to keep hitting - and breaking - the 100 mark until at least October.  Yet in my mind, it's the end of summer.  We're eating the last of the sweet corn and peaches, and soon the apples will appear, courtesy of cooler places. 
For dinner tonight, we had hamburgers cooked in my new (old) Farberware pan.  I found it at a Salvation Army in Massachusetts this summer for $2.   I am slowly replacing all of my "modern" pans with good old cast aluminum pans.  They are hard to find in good condition, though, and cost a fortune, usually.  I've gotten lucky three times, though.  I have a wonderful old Dutch oven I got from a woman in Mansfield, Ohio, of all places (we used to live there!) for $5 plus shipping on eBay.  She got it from her mother-in-law when she got married in 1953 and her MIL got it for HER wedding in the 30's.  It cooks like a dream, with consistent heat, and can hold even the biggest pot roast.  I could even do a turkey in it! 
My other find was a big sauce pan.  It was $1.99 at one of my favorite thrift shops in Petoskey, Michigan, which is near our cottage on Walloon Lake.  Now I need to find some lids!
I love cooking with and serving on my vintage stuff.  I feel a wonderful connection  to the women of the past. 
Have you read Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg?  It's set just after WWII, and follows a family in a town in Missouri through the present.  It's wonderful, but sad, because you see how the town changes - and not for the better.  If I were a millionaire, I would buy up property and give out loans and help people build back the downtowns of yesteryear.  Small businesses, family businesses, those are the building blocks of a wonderful community. 
I'm rambling...anyway...enjoy the fruits and veg of summer because they'll be gone before you know it.  Pull out your grama's old dishes and set a lovely table.  You'll be surprised how great it feels!

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