cold front is on its way to Texas, popping the perpetually hot 'n'
humid bubble of summertime that usually refuses to leave. Mind you,
a "cold front" for us is a relative term, locally referring to the
blissful weather phenomenon that drops temperatures from the 90s to
the 70s -- and propels us forward in our quest for autumn.
Well, the darn season has finally brought the right weather with
it. Now we find ourselves staring at kitchen heating appliances
with a disconcerting mix of bewilderment and joy. It must be time
to re-acquaint ourselves with the long-neglected oven. Disdained
and pooh-pooh'ed for months at a time while the grill, barbecue pit
and stovetop hogged the spotlight, the hearth-like oven and
accompanying broiler are reclaiming their warm, cheery places of
household prominence. Even our potholders and casserole dishes seem
friendly and engaging.
We're ready; after weeks of being teased by cool evenings that
last only a few hours at a time (and while we're asleep, at that),
we're relishing sunny days that are comfortably crisp, especially
in the mornings: jacket weather. Jacket weather makes us crave
anything with the word "baked" in it, along with the corresponding
herbs and spices. Bring on the cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, ginger,
nutmeg and cumin, 'cause the oven's baaaaack!
Surely our kitchen is the hub of most household buzz anytime of
the year. However, during autumn, the level of activity goes into
overdrive. When the oven is turned on, we're summoned by its call,
we follow its aroma, we happily surrender. We see the oven for what
it really is: a collection of seasonal memories, masquerading as an
ordinary heating device.
Though perhaps we're a bit fixated on the cheesy breads,
buttered chicken, pies and roasts yet to be enjoyed, you'll
understand our oven-baked happiness. Okay, we'll let you have the