Saturday, August 22, 2015

Kitchen Intuition: Summer on a plate

There is definitely a hint of autumn in the Chattanooga air. School is back in session; the temperatures have just started to chill a bit; and when I was at Finley Stadium this week to watch the U.S. women’s soccer team practice, they were handing out cards with the Mocs fall football schedule.

I’m pretty excited about the change of seasons. It’s time to trade in my shorts and sandals for jeans and cozy sweaters. I’m ready for smoky-smelling hair on mornings after sipping whiskey by the fire pit, porch sitting without being hounded by mosquitoes, fall festivals and chilly Sunday food truck lunches at the Chattanooga Market. Autumn is the best season in Chattanooga (the Best Town Ever!), when our landscapes take on breathtaking colors and the weather cools enough so that a good run or hike in the woods can feel breezy and refreshing.

That said, however, I’m not ready to let go of summer’s food. It is fresh and light, and the bold flavors often need little more than to be sliced or quickly grilled before they’re ready for the dinner table. Fortunately, my garden is not ready to give up on the season yet. I came home from my travels to a messy yard that, despite some neglect, is producing plenty of tomatoes and basil, which might just be the best flavor pairing of all time.

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