Please, it's not fall yet. The calendar may say so, but the weather has something else in mind. Consecutive drippy days of heavy heat, hanging thickly between each breath. No, it's not that bad. New York's been a bit muggy, but I'm still welcoming the warmth with open windows and open bare arms.
And summery snacks of plump figs, spicy cheese, crumbly crackers, and the perfect "session beer." On a recent trip to Cooperstown's Ommegang Brewery, a case of variety brews was captured and brought home to extend lazy summer Sundays. I think the Hennepin Farmhouse Saison is my favorite for its cooling properties and citrusy-spicy tingling on my tongue. It's good to the last drop and that's important to me.
I know fig season is all but gone to rot, but the Korean grocer on my corner managed to wrap up some beauties and talk them up enough for me to fork over some green and tote them home. They were better than passable, with a few memorable seedy bites -- crunching those seeds produces such a nostalgic feeling for anyone who snacked on Fig Newtons as a kid.
The cheese, a downright hot jalapeno cheddar and a blander smoked swiss, came from Whole(ly expensive) Foods -- each brought what the other didn't. But the crackers stole the show. Let's see if you can get a closer look.
Can you see the breadth, the thickness? Close to shortbread material! They contained the absolute maximum sweetness one would ever desire in a cracker and held their own quite beautifully. Ahhh, lazy Sundays in the sun...
Indian summer, I hope you're listening.
p.s. If you're a beer aficionado, definitely check out Ultimate Beer by Michael Jackson. And if you're not, definitely check it out and impress all those beer geeks at your local pub.