The end of baking season?

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.

2 Comments

  • Aysha  on  6/4/2012 at 4:06 PM

    I bake in summer, and i live in Oklahoma (where we had a record number of consecutive 100-degree + days last year). But i either bake early (when it's not already 90 at 8), in the toaster oven on the porch, in a cast iron pot (or flat breads right on the grill) on the gas grill, or (not so much, because i still have to build a really hot fire for hours, and not when we have a burn ban going) in the clay oven my husband built outside. I also have a 2-burner outdoor stove so i can even take steamy pots of pasta or corn out of the kitchen.

  • eljay65  on  6/6/2012 at 7:38 PM

    It is winter here! I find it very frustrating, constantly getting recipes from polar opposite seasons - but whaddya gonna do? Perhaps a "season" search?

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