Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Last of the Fruits of Summer

This was the last weekend in August.  Next weekend, Labor Day weekend, is the official end of summer and the official start of fall.


New Jersey is known as The Garden State.  Beginning in May, red-checkered, road-side stands with their colorful array of local fruits and produce dot road-sides large and small from here to the sea shore.  And every visitor to the Jersey Shore returns home with armloads of beef steak tomatoes and Silver Queen corn. 




The Farmers Market in my town will continue to open every Saturday morning until the last Saturday of October, before closing down until next May. 












I live in the historic town of Haddonfield, New Jersey, where the oldest homes date back to 1682, and the dedicated members of the Historical Society do their best to ensure that everything is lovingly preserved. 


One of the Oldest Federal Style Homes in Haddonfield



Kings Highway - Our Main Street




Shoppers flock to Kings Highway all year round,


but on a warm, summer day, the streets come alive with local craft fairs and al fresco dining. 





I live at the edge of Kings Highway in The Mews.  If I turn left outside my gate, I can walk to the center of town in two minutes. If I turn right, I can stroll through a leafy park with a large pond that is home to wild ducks, geese and, until recently,


a white swan, who spent his days gliding up and down in solitary splendor.  I would watch him every morning from my bedroom window as the ripple of water behind him fanned out like a bridal train.  And, then, one day he left and never returned.  I miss him still. 




The grounds of The Mews are lush and fragrant this time of year, and neighbors often meet for a stroll and a cup of coffee in the cool of the morning.  Those moments are what I consider to be the sweetest of all the fruits of summer. 



Not being a “morning” person, which, if you read my Blog regularly you already know, I decided to bid a fond adieu to summer a bit later in the afternoon.  So, I invited a few special friends and neighbors for some “Nips and Nibbles” at 3:00pm. 

Too early for cocktails?  Not where I grew up!! 

Photo Taken by my Friend and Neighbor, Kate

The deviled ham tea sandwiches were a big hit.  I like to add grated orange zest and either a bit of horseradish or some mayonnaise spiked with a few drops of Tobasco Sauce.  When you’re dealing with something as salty as deviled ham, you need to add some acid (orange zest) and some heat (horseradish). 


Anyway, we gave summer a royal send off and told her to enjoy her vacation, but not to forget to come back.  She promised she’d be back next year, right on time, with all those wonderful fruits of summer we love her for.  

14 comments:

  1. You live in one of my favorite towns in NJ, and yes, our NJ tomatoes are out of this world!

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    1. I do love living here, and yes, indeed, our NJ tomatoes are delicious. Slice them, sprinkle them w/sea salt and you have a feast!!

      Thanks for stopping by, Lisa.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  2. You do live beautifully!! Such a charming little town. I envy you. It's just beginning to get hot here in CA and I wish it were getting cool!!
    XX

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    1. I do feel fortunate to live in such a lovely town. It's still quite warm here, although we had a few cooler days last week. Looking forward to fall and all those glorious colors!!

      I'll be in touch this week to see how you are doing.

      xoxo, M-T

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  3. What a gorgeous little town! So picturesque. And what a nice excuse for a party. Our temps are back up in the high 80s and low 90s in Michigan, but I'm seeing signs of fall already, even some leaves turning. It's my favorite time of year here.

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    1. Any excuse for a party works for me. I do love my little town. We're also back in the 90s here, but, like you, I've noticed some signs of fall. I adore fall and all the beautiful colors.

      Speaking of beautiful, your new profile picture is a winner!!

      Cheers, M-T

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  4. About radishes: A few years ago, I noticed that the radishes I bought during the winter were so much better and much milder than summer radishes. So far I've found this holds true in a couple different parts of the country. So I now avoid radishes from April through October, and enjoy them in large quantities from November through March.

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    1. What a great tip to share, Rita. You are quite right. There is definitely a difference in taste between summer and winter radishes. I have always loved radishes. Did you know that the French serve them w/butter and salt as a little amuse-bouche before dinner? At my husband's first dinner with my family in France (on our honeymoon), my tante Jeanette served them, and he still finds it odd. It was the only part of the meal that didn't thrill him. He still has not acquired a taste for radishes, so I buy them for myself.

      As always, love when you take the time to leave a comment.

      Cheers, M-T

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  5. My, what a lovely piece of the world you live in! I absolutely love going to the farmer's market for what I don't grow myself. I have to say I enjoy summer and I will miss the warmth and long days. I think I will follow your lead and invite the neighbors over for a proper "hello" to fall.
    Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. I do feel lucky to live here and never take anything or anyone for granted. Have a great get-together with your friends and neighbors. I highly recommend it.

      As always, thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

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  6. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Wow, what a lovely post this was and how sad that the swan vanished... They are such regal looking water birds!
    You do live in a very nice and historic area. I had no idea you lived that close to Camden NJ, where we often went to the World Headquarters of Campbell's Soup. And to their Company Store for stocking up on Godiva dark chocolate with raspberry filling when they still owned that part... For several years already it belongs to a Muslim company in Istanbul, Turkey...
    Husband Pieter had always to stay at the then Hyatt in Cherry Hill when visiting the World Headquarters for a meeting with the CEO. One time I did accompany him, flying in from San Francisco on a Sunday, with dachshund Mauzie. We were supposed to enjoy our weekend in SF but there had to be a meeting with the CEO early Monday morning.
    Small world, knowing that we've been very close to your area!
    Sending you hugs and we've safely returned from our 4-night stay at the Hyatt Place in NYC. Yep, in Cherry Hill, NJ Pieter accumulated his first Hyatt Gold Card and he has reached for decades the Platinum level and we keep it that way as it suits us fine.
    Mariette

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    1. Dearest Mariette,

      How wonderful to think that our paths almost crossed. You do know my area quite well. The Hyatt is now the Crowne Plaza, but, I believe it's still a very nice hotel. There's also a charming B&B right near the train station in Haddonfield. I often recommend it.

      So glad you had a great time in NYC. Next time, we'll make a point of getting together.

      Warm hugs,

      M-T

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  7. What a wonderful way to invite your community into your home; celebrating the end of summer. We have gotten so far away from that concept into today's tech world. I remember as a child when we moved to a new city, a welcome lady came to meet and greet us.
    On that occasion, my mother shared that as a newlywed when she moved into the first house she and my father had purchased that a neighbor came over with a baked cake.
    Neighbors can become friends if we let them in, both literally and metaphorically.
    Charming story with a warm touch of belonging.

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    1. Oh, yes, Linda. I do remember the "Welcome Wagon Ladies" who did their best to make newcomers feel welcome. In the small community of The Mews, we have a Welcome Committee (just two ladies), appointed by the Board (7 members, including my husband) and last year, it was decided that a Newsletter would be fun and informative, sooooooooooooooo guess who was asked to design, write and publish the Newsletter???? I'm sort of a one-woman Newsletter band. It's actually been great fun and a wonderful way for everyone to keep up with the large and small events in our neighbors' lives.

      Thanks for stopping by, Linda. Always love your insightful comments.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete

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