Finally, It's Time!

I've always been an Autumn guy, but as I sit here in my suburban Chicago home and look out my back window into our yard with it's various flower and vegetable beds, I can't help but feel overwhelmed at what an amazing time of year it is right now. Late summer! It's literally a feast for the senses. As I write, the cicadas are singing their nostalgia-inducing song; a lawnmower is buzzing in the distance, and the gentle peeps from the neighborhood bird population tell me it's just about their bedtime. The air is thick with the smell of cut grass, and the recent rains leave an aroma of soil and wet sidewalks.

Hearing and smelling aside, there is one late summer sight that is so completely catching my eye that it makes it difficult to concentrate on anything else. We planted a lot of tomatoes this spring, and now the bright red fruits are suddenly exposing themselves all over our yard. We've been waiting all summer, and finally their time has come!

If you've never tried before, growing your own tomatoes is a fairly simple and very satisfying thing to do. A bite from a super ripe, sun-warmed tomato is something that all chefs dream about, and it puts every single super market tomato you've ever purchased to shame.

Here's what to do with a big, juicy, just picked, homegrown tomato: Procure a nice, thick slice of your favorite bread. Toast it. Scrape the toasted surface with a peeled clove of garlic, and then drizzle just a bit of extra virgin olive oil onto it. Then, while it's still warm from the toaster, lay as many thick slices of gorgeous, late summer tomatoes as you can on top of it. Sprinkle them with a bit of good salt, and then grind some black pepper on top. Next, crumble just a bit of your favorite blue cheese over everything. Last, finish with a couple of leaves of torn basil, and you've got something that's almost too good to eat. Late summer won't last much longer.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            4 Program(s) Found
            Virginia College , Greenville
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
            • Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
            • Offers programs in culinary arts, nursing, and healthcare.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (AFC) and Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 5 campuses in Lawton, North and Central Oklahoma City, Moore, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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