The lazy days of summer seem to have come to an abrupt end today.
First the summer part: With the sudden change in the weather, it began to feel like fall, and wool socks and blankets and nourishing soups all of a sudden started sounding appealing.
Then the lazy part: The weather canceled our original plans (to picnic with a crowd of friends at the Waterfront Performing Arts Series), and from the point of view of two in the afternoon, still in my pajamas (I was working from home) and nothing planned to cook, it seemed like a good idea to spontaneously invite everyone over for dinner and a movie instead.
(It's really a blessing to live in a house where you can say to your housemates, "Hey, I might have invited a few dozen people over for dinner in an hour," and they just shrug and say, "Do you want help peeling those potatoes?")
How not lazy is this? I even followed a recipe. (Well, okay, I omitted the bacon for vegetarian-ness, and increased all the ingredients by approximately 1.5 or 2 times, except where the math was hard, and didn't measure anything, and added the peppers late, and paid no attention to the directions on the bouillon cubes, and didn't have any sea salt. But I did actually use the fresh thyme sprigs -- upper right in photo -- not because we managed to grow any ourselves, but because we happen to be babysitting a traveling friend's well-equipped herb garden.)
We've made this corn chowder before (last year, chowder season began on September 15, so you see how unseasonal the weather is). It's my favorite because it has so many vegetables besides the corn -- onions, carrots, celery, red peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes -- and they're all vegetables that look beautiful in farmers markets (and even grocery stores) right about now. (You'll notice that I took the exact same cutting board photo last year.) In fact, Sara tried a ladleful just before the corn and cream went in and pronounced it a perfectly fine vegetable soup.
May you all be as warm and cozy as we were this evening, with our chowder and movie and good company and hot chocolate.
(This post is part of a Massachusetts Farmers Market Week blogathon organized by In Our Grandmothers' Kitchens as a benefit for Mass Farmers Markets. See Loving Local for evidence that local food bloggers are as prolific as local farms. Lots of excellent vegetable reading!)