“Every year, the bright Scandinavian summer nights fade away without anyone’s noticing. One evening in August you have an errand outdoors, and all of a sudden it’s pitch-black. A great warm, dark silence surrounds the house. It is still summer, but the summer is no longer alive. It has come to a standstill; nothing withers, and fall is not ready to begin.” (Tove Jansson, The Summer Book)
One of my favorite things about living in southern Sweden are the stark contrasts of seasons. For the short time I lived in Florida, I missed the frigid snows, the muddy, chill regrowth, and particularly the burst of color as the trees prepared for winter. Here the seasonal changes sneak up on you. One day you’re enjoying a cold beer on the balcony in the lingering sunlight hours after dinner, the next you’re wrapped up in a woolen blanket with steaming tea, watching the sun set with hours to go before bedtime.
A month ago, I went out everyday for a week, collecting blackberries and bringing them home to freeze. Already then the temperatures were starting to drop, but it wasn’t until this week that it hit me: summer is no longer alive. The winds are moving in. The nights grow longer. The tea lights are coming out and the extra blankets unpacked.
The afternoons are still occasionally warm enough to have lunch on the balcony though. And those blackberries were frozen for just such occasions as this: I’ll enjoy a taste of late summer before fall really settles in to stay, while the afternoon sun pushes through the overcast clouds moving in, and the chill is not yet strong enough to cut through that woolen blanket.
2-3 tablespoons butter
2 slices white sourdough
2-3 tablespoons soft chèvre
fruity olive oil
Melt half the butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Spread one piece of bread with chèvre and place it, chèvre side up, in the pan. Arrange blackberries in a single layer, pressing down to secure them in place. Top with arugula. Spread the other piece of bread with remaining butter, and place it, butter side up, on top. Check the bottom of the sandwich and when it becomes golden after 2-5 minutes, flip it over and cook until the second side is golden. Tuck any fallen berries back inside. Serve with a nice fruity olive oil and balsamic glaze on the side for dipping.