Autumn is icumen in

I know that’s not how the song (poem?) goes, but for me, the gradual creeping-in of autumn is as eagerly anticipated as the advent of spring is for most. My basil has gone to flower, the leaves getting less lush and more spindly in the heat; everything outside is done to the accompaniment of the buzz of cicadas. Everything is starting to look less fresh and lush and more weary and uncomfortably hot. Much like I feel. Summer’s last hurrah.

Today is cooler; it’s one of those delightful, grey, drizzly reprieves in August where the outside temperature only gets up to about 72F/22C. Not cool by any means, but so much more tolerable than the usual 95F/35C of August in Pennsylvania. We’ve got all of the downstairs air conditioners off and fresh air wafting through the house. And all of this makes me feel inside like it’s time to make things.

Dinner tonight will be a production: green curry shrimp and tofu for my husband; sourdough Belgian waffles (wherein I mostly follow the recipe – see note below) for our elder two sons and me; and homemade sourdough pizza for our youngest son. With my birthday two days away, I suppose I could have argued everyone into choosing one meal, but it’s Sunday, I took off Monday and Tuesday, and I have the time to be leisurely about things.

(For the waffles, I make a double batch and I make them almost exactly like the recipe. The only difference is that I separate the eggs. When it comes time to add the eggs to the mixture, I only add the yolks. I then beat the whites in a separate mixing bowl until they make hard peaks, and once the batter is otherwise done, I fold the whites in. That’s the secret to light and airy waffles – perfect, my sons tell me, for chicken sandwiches.)

I also have another project looming. The Timely Tresses Julia Regency Bonnet sewing pattern I ordered has finally made its long way across the Atlantic Ocean to me – excellent timing as it arrived just when the pre-autumn make-things feeling hit me. I spent a few frantic hours on the internet sourcing materials, including a spendy but lovely silk taffeta for the covering fabric, and Now I Wait. In order to make Waiting more tolerable and more productive, I’ve decided to try to poke around my stash to see if I have materials sufficient to make a mock-up. One thing I do not have, and could not source locally, is buckram, which is a stiffening fabric commonly used in millinery. The internet to the rescue, though! Apparently, it’s rather simple to make one’s own. So that will be my first sub-project.

Further bulletins (and photos, if I can locate my phone tripod) as events warrant.