It started happening last week already. I'd planned to
bake a couple loaves of bread for sandwiches. But around
mid-morning, when I got around to pulling down the flour and
finding the yeast, it was already muggy and still and shaping up to
head toward 85 degrees. I looked at the oven. The oven
looked at me. We agreed to disagree.
Around the summer solstice every year, a certain day always
arrives--unobserved, uncelebrated, but inevitable. It's the
Last Baking Day. Preheat the oven at 500 for an hour for
pizza? Don't think so. No more cookies, though they're
my favorite thing of all to bake. No pies, even though it's
summer and all the pie fruit is finally ripening. And
definitely no more bread.
Once in a while I'll pop something in our toaster oven, which is
just big enough to bake a tart without heating up the whole house.
But for the most part? I'll wait till the fall.
Most publishers are pretty savvy
about these things, so you don't see a whole lot of baking books in
the summer. But there are always a few. In July, we'll
see The One & Only Pies & Tarts Cookbook,
no doubt issued then to take advantage of those same summer pie
fruits I can only manage to eat raw. I see its sunny yellow
cover and I think "Ah! I remember what I wanted to do--go to the
beach! Pack a picnic! Not bake!"
August will see the publication
of The Seasonal Baker. The promotional copy
suggests the baking follows produce through the season:
strawberries in early summer, pumpkins in fall. In fairness,
it's probably a pretty appealing book. And fact is, I'm a
seasonal baker too. The season I don't bake is summer.
How about you? Do you bake in summer? If you do, how
do you do it?! do you get up at 5? move your oven outdoors? turn on
the AC? Do tell! I'm ready to learn.