Going up on Sunday will be the easy part. It’s the return trip on Monday that I’m not looking forward to. At all. Driving alone for 13 hours is not my idea of a good time; I’d either be a woefully depressed or frightfully expensive long-haul truck driver. But taking my youngest back to college is a worthy cause. Though I still can’t wrap my head around how their cat makes the trip without driving me nuts – despite repeated promises. Or why they couldn’t pick a school that is, you know, a tad closer.
September is a lot like that. The front half is freighted with the last remnants of summer in all its guises. In the restaurant that means there are still some tomatoes, summer squash, and corn. We haven’t given up on peaches and cucumbers. And gin is still more appealing than bourbon. But every day we sweep up more and more of the brown and brittle leaves that drop from the mulberry trees surrounding the patio. Though, of course, people still show up for dinner in flip-flops.
And the second half of the month feels longer than the first. The anticipation and expectation of fall can make the days drag as summer slowly loosens its grip. I always mark that impatience by the first flush of scarves that appear each September at the bus stop in front of Acme – a sort of “if you wear it, fall will come” determination. In the kitchen there are chiles (peppers) and okra and some figs. We make plans to pick apples. Raw peanuts start to arrive from out east. And basil gives way to thyme.
So, here we go. Whether back to school or back to fall or both. There is some great comfort in the assured rhythm and rituals of the season that help us chart our course. And my drive north is no different. Though I must admit that I’m always a little teary with that goodbye; no matter how many times that I’ve done it. It’s that clear understanding as we part, moving in opposite directions, that each of us are headed home. I just better not end up driving back with the cat.
Lest you forget, tonight is the Acme Almost Friday $15. Every entree, every Thursday is $15. Why not make the Labor Day weekend start early? Trust me; Thursdays are better here.
This weekend @ Acme: Shooting Point Oysters on the half-shell. Acme fish & chips. Southern tomato pie. Pecan-crusted fried chicken. Cherry pie à la mode. Martha’s chile relleno. Watermelon mojitos. Acme Brussels’ sprouts. Forever roasted pig. Deviled eggs. Smoked tomato risotto. Firsthand pork chops. Peach cobbler with blackberry ice cream. Acme tomato plate. Cold beer. Crab cakes. Mississippi-style tamales. Wedge salad. Blackened salmon. Cast-iron skillet cornbread. Acme deluxe smash burger. Butterscotch pudding. Face it; your stomach knows that I’m right.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme