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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            • 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.
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            • 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.
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            • 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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            • Explore the Online Programs Offered at VC. Request More Info Today!
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            • 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*
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            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

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            • 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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            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students.