Summer, as Angelenos know it, has only recently gotten under way. People all over the country may herald its arrival with their Memorial Day bar-b-ques and balmy nights, but our unbearable heat has only been consistent over the past couple of weeks, and is sure to surge at least twice more before Halloween. Oh, Indian summer, is our idea of the season, but this morning at the Hollywood Farmers' Market, I caught glimpses of what the rest of the country is likely experiencing -- oranges, yellows, dark greens, oh my!
As much as I love stone fruit, and squeal when the first cherries and apricots appear, I wait on the edge of my seat for fall. Signs announcing the last week for Flavor Kings or Flavor Grenades have been displayed at the stands lately, and at Top Notch Produce, mango-flavored nectarines and white peaches have been replaced by Asian pears and green grapes. Other stands that have been solely featuring samples of drupes are now offering Fuji and Gala apple chunks -- the avocado and cherimoya stand is even giving away free mini-apples to try. The boys at the stand where I get my favorite eggs (whose location I still won't reveal) have made it known that fall is really their season to shine as most stands sell similar fare to theirs during the summer months, so soon their tables will be overflowing with squash and lesser-known varieties of potatoes.
The reds, yellows, oranges, and sometimes purples of heirloom tomatoes have colored the market beautifully for a few weeks now, and today, I saw pumpkins at a couple stands. Maybe it was the relative emptiness of the pathways due to the Labor Day exodus, or the hazy glow that blanketed the skies from Station Fire overflow, but with the sighting of the pumpkins, tears nearly welled in my eyes and it really felt like fall was upon us. Sleepless nights and the futile search for the cold spot on a sweat-flecked pillow are still ahead for us, but at least we know where we can get a taste for turning leaves, billowy breezes, and crisp mornings. Apple pie will soon be made!!