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I hate summertime. Loathe it. So when I see the date is August 26, I know there’s only a handful of days left until September, and even though September is technically summer—come on, we all know that it’s fall. It’s when all the fall stuff starts to happen: back to school, super-thick fashion magazines, and apple season. It’s my favorite month.
Suddenly, the wheels all start to turn again. Everyone is back from vacation, schedules become routine, and the hectic part of life reemerges. Fall is not only a change of mindset, but a change of “mouthset.” I’m done with my summertime grazing of tomatoes (the season’s only redeeming feature) and seafood. Fall requires dinnertime, and what I call “feature meals”—a sort of culinary centerpiece around which everyone can huddle for a quick hour in the evening, amid the resurrection of homework and emails and schedules. It’s the kind of meal that wafts upstairs from the oven; a magnet that calls “dinnertime” without your having too. It’s comfort food.