So Long, Sweet Summer

I am unabashedly a winter person. I love cold weather. Scarves. Hats. Wool coats lined with thinsulate. I love waking up on a crisp winter morning and freezing my fingers on the way to the car. I love seeing my breath when I walk outside and that rosy, tingly feeling that spreads all over my face when I get inside.

I love winter.

I also love fall. Yet despite the 20th-of-September date on my calendar, the weather outside is positively sticky. It makes me grumpy.

So I am officially declaring this the end of summer, at least on this little blog. I'm done. It's time for pumpkin cupcakes and butternut squash soup and sweet potatoes and ohmyword cranberries. I adore cranberries.

And even if the weatherman doesn't agree with me, this is my defiant cry: so long, sweet summer. It was lovely while it lasted, but it's lasted much too long. If you keep this up, I'm moving as far north as I can (as long as we can still get Alabama football).

This week has brought a mountain of squash to my refrigerator ... mostly winter (finally! my first butternut!), but still a few pesky yellow summery ones that as much as I love, I AM SO DONE WITH THEM. Thanks, but no thanks. They were nice in May. And June. And July. And August. But if I see ONE MORE YELLOW SQUASH I just might explode. Tonight, I suggested we feed them to our cat. It's that intense.

So in my quest to BE RID OF THE YELLOW SQUASH, I decided to have one last summery meal. And it was oh-so-summery ... the kind of meal you crave-like-crazy in December. It was delicious, in a tired kind of way. (Gosh we're spoiled.)

But here it is, and with is I hope this chapter in our year is done. Because if I get one more yellow squash, I might poke someone with it.

Orzo with Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Shrimp

It started like this and ended up like this:

-1.5 cups orzo

- 2 cloves garlic

- 3 tbsp butter

- 3 counts olive oil

- 10-12 large shrimp

- 4 summer squash (I used yellow and yellow zucchini), diced

- 2 diced roma tomatoes

- several hearty shakes of dried whole thyme, basil, and oregano

- salt & pepper

- lemon, zested and juiced

1. cook the orzo

2. melt the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet, add chopped garlic

3. poach the shrimp in the garlic-butter (this is very, very, very good)

4. remove the shrimp and set aside

5. add the squash to the garlic-butter skillet

6. sprinkle with herbs, salt, and pepper and cook through; add tomatoes near end

7. mix with orzo

8. stir in lemon zest and lemon juice

9. top with shrimp

Easy. Delicious. Summery. And we're done. I hope. Please just let this be the end of the squash.