Here’s Some Of What I Liked In August. What Rang Your Bell?

Yup, August has come and gone. And in a few blinks of an eye, 2023 will have arrived. Zoom! I tell you, there’s no doubt that time flies at accelerating rates the older we get. And being genuinely old, I ain’t happy about that. To say the least. I don’t know how many grains of sand remain in the upper part of my hourglass. But, whatever the number, a shitload more would suit me just fine.

Anyway, there’s nothing I can do about it. So, to steer my mind away from the above paragraph’s depressing direction, let me mention some things that brought a smile to my crinkled face during the month that waved goodbye to us a handful of days ago.

First up are peaches and corn on the cob, without which life wouldn’t be as sweet. It being summer here in the USA, the harvesting season for those fine forms of produce, my wife Sandy and I would have been fools not to indulge in them during August.

I’ve loved peaches for nearly all of my life. I think, though, that their deliciousness began to make truly deep impressions upon me somewhere in my 40s. Man, what a treat it is to bite into a peach. A good peach, that is, not one of the mealy ones that have become more commonplace in recent years. Such beautiful flavor, as luxurious as you could hope for. And a texture, in the happy zone between soft and firm, that was made to seduce. I had some real good peaches in August. And tossed aside a couple of very sub-par examples too. You win some, you lose some. In any case, the peach season in the States hasn’t all that much longer to go, a damn shame.

Likewise, fresh corn’s availability already has peaked. Last month, getting while the getting was good, Sandy and I chomped down on boiled ears of corn at dinnertime three or four times. We gave them a thumbs-up. Helpful public servant that I am, I’d like to give you a tip for dressing corn on the cob: Peel back the paper a bit on a stick of butter, then rub the exposed butter all over the corn while twirling the cob. This method is much better than attempting to place pats of butter on the corn with a knife. Those pats, as we know, usually end up skidding all over the f*cking place. I’ve already accepted your thanks in advance!

Now it’s time to talk about television series, a media format that has pleased the hell out of me since the start of the pandemic. Hungry for entertainment, I began watching series in earnest at that time, something I hadn’t done in years. Sandy has been my viewing companion. And, even though Covid’s roar has lessened, we haven’t slackened our pace, for during August we devoured two limited series (We Own This City and the scripted version of The Staircase, not the documentary by that name) and one season each of multi-season productions (Capitani and Never Have I Ever). The first three that I mentioned are very much worth watching, but they are grim. Ergo, I’ll limit my commentary to the sole smile-inducing series among August’s fare.

Never Have I Ever, a thoughtful comedy on Netflix, tells the tale of Devi Vishwakumar, an Indian-American public high school student in California. Devi, smart as a whip but fairly low in the self-confidence department, isn’t one of the cool, popular girls at school. She has a loving family, fortunately, and several trusted, loyal girlfriends. Thus, her situation overall is quite decent, despite the cruel fact that the death of her father, during her freshman year, was a blow that tests her mightily.

There have been three seasons of Never Have I Ever so far. Sandy and I have watched them all, polishing off the latest run in August. During season three’s ten episodes, Devi loses a boyfriend, attempts to land a new beau, contemplates losing her virginity, and completes her junior year of high school with top grades. And her pals are no slouches in the busy-lives department either. Wow! There’s a lot going on in this show. Cleverly too, partly because of the sarcastic, sometimes-exasperated voice-over narration by, if you can believe it, John McEnroe. He’s the former tennis champ who was known for his verbal outbursts on the court as much as for the beauty of his game. McEnroe does a great job, adding volleys of whams and bams to a coming-of-age story that’s handled with insight and care.

With that, I’ll toss a tennis ball into your half of the court. What rang your bell last month, food-wise, entertainment-wise, nature-wise, anything-at-all-wise?

145 thoughts on “Here’s Some Of What I Liked In August. What Rang Your Bell?

  1. annieasksyou September 10, 2022 / 6:26 pm

    Your reverie on peaches immediately brought to mind Mel Brooks’s 2000-Year-Old-Man observation: “I’d rather have a rotten nectarine than a fine plum.” I discovered Trader Joe’s delicious fresh cherries–albeit not til August–and have found others have been good too.

    Another corn-buttering tip from my sister-in-law: put a wad of butter on a small piece of bread and smush it all over the ear. I, myself, like the pristine, unadulterated corn best of all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 10, 2022 / 10:40 pm

      Hey, Annie. I grew up never knowing that there were ways of buttering corn that didn’t involve using a knife. The method I write about is one I discovered by chance on some website last year.

      Like

  2. LTodd September 10, 2022 / 8:14 pm

    My answer is quite similar to yours. Hubby and I have eaten our share of peaches and corn from our weekly farmers market. So much better than store bought. And Never Have I Ever never failed to put a smile on my face. It’s the best teen sitcom out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 10, 2022 / 10:38 pm

      Hi. I forget her name, but one of my favorite characters in Never is the friend of Devi who is an aspiring actress. I also like the aspiring actress’s boyfriend (the stoner guy).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Helene Brennan September 11, 2022 / 3:42 pm

    I love your butter spreading method! Wish I could grow peaches here. A high percentage of soft fruits like peaches and plums arrive in the shops hard, and by the time they soften in your fruit bowl, they’ve gone rotten, having bypassed the ripe stage! But I have lovely apples, currently ripening inside shrouds of white netting, to keep those damned crows off.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Helene Brennan September 12, 2022 / 5:50 pm

        I have a number of varieties Neil, but I don’t know them all. I lost the labels soon after planting. I know I have one called ‘Katy’- prolific, vigorous and sweet; I have some russet varieties – tasty, a bramley – not good fruiter yet and another very prolific small tree with fruits that also seem to be for cooking. There are also other varieties of sweet apples but I don’t know what they are, possibly laxton or cox. I have a number of pears, plums and cherries that never yet give any fruit, but I’m hopeful. 20+ trees in total, between 1 and 7 years old. Do you grow fruit?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger September 12, 2022 / 6:22 pm

          Hi. No. But when I was a kid, the house I grew up in had two apple trees on the grounds. They were very productive for a number of years.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. viewfromoverthehill September 11, 2022 / 8:17 pm

    I agree with you about corn on the cob. Absolutely yum. However I prefer nectarines to peaches, but my favourite fruits are apricots and cherries. Local strawberries are good too. Oh, the list can grow and grow…. Stay well and enjoy life. Cheers, Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 11, 2022 / 11:01 pm

      Hi. It’s great that there are so many fruits for us to eat. Pears and blueberries are others high on my list. See you. Have a great week.

      Like

  5. denisebushphoto September 12, 2022 / 12:56 pm

    Peaches and corn, thankfully are two things very well-grown nearby … Palisade Peaches and Olathe Corn are famous in these parts. We are always ending a series and looking for something new so will check out your suggestions. We will miss Better Call Saul. We’ve started quite a few others and then forget about them … Flight Attendant, Inventing Anna are two to get back to. We are watching My Brilliant Friend … 5 out of 4 stars on that! Clarkson’s Farm is original … about an English guy who knew nothing about farming but bought one and is trying everything … reality success and failures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 12, 2022 / 3:06 pm

      Hi. I’ll check out Clarkson’s Farm. And I’m with you on My Brilliant Friend. Have you seen the latest season of it, which I think is season 3 — it’s really powerful.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Alyson September 13, 2022 / 10:31 am

    Thanks for the heads up about the Netflix shows – always good to get recommendations.

    Last night we made Plum Crumble as we had an awful lot of them. Very nice it turned out too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. fauquetmichel September 14, 2022 / 7:56 am

    About peaches I agree with you , I like the tue peaches . Unfortunately we find principally in the market peaches hybrided with apricot ! Thicker but less juiceful and often not quite ripe.
    In friendship
    Michel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 14, 2022 / 3:49 pm

      Bonjour, Michel. I don’t think that peach/apricot hybrids are available in the USA. Maybe I’m wrong about that, though. Thanks very much for adding your thoughts. I appreciate it.

      Like

  8. andrewcferguson September 14, 2022 / 11:58 am

    TS Eliot wrote (in ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’) ‘Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?’ So glad you do dare, Neil! Plenty grains left up top in that hour glass, buddy!

    In terms of entertainment, Enjoying the second series of ‘The Capture’ (despite not having seen the first) about tech that can alter apparent reality; also looking promising ‘The Suspect’ about a shrink who might just know more about the murder of a woman from Liverpool than he’s letting on…

    https://www.itv.com/hub/the-suspect/2a7583
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00085sx

    I’ll admit Holliday Grainger is part of why ‘the Capture’ is so involving….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 14, 2022 / 4:14 pm

      Thanks for the TV tips. I hadn’t heard of either of those shows. Recently we watched season one of Unforgotten, which is a detective series, and a pretty good one. I think it originated on BBC, though we saw it on Amazon. Last night we started watching season two.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jeff the Chef September 15, 2022 / 9:39 am

    So funny, I was also able to coincidentally find some fantastic peaches this summer, and some really good corn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 15, 2022 / 5:03 pm

      Howdy, Jeff. I’m looking forward to pear season, especially Bartlett pears. I’ve grown very fond of Bartletts over the last five or ten years.

      Like

  10. johnlmalone September 15, 2022 / 7:36 pm

    I’ll tell you what rang my bell, Neil, apart from 19 year old Alcaraz winning the US OPen was ‘The White Lotus’ on Foxtel Showcase which won three Emmys. Only into episode three but compelling drama, humurous sub plots and outrageous behaviours. Top notch !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Linda Pearce Griffin September 21, 2022 / 2:44 pm

    I enjoyed reading about your food favorites for the summer. I love peaches, too! My parents had several peach trees and it was near heaven when they were ripe. They put some in pies and cobblers and home made ice cream, froze some, and shared lots. And being a country girl I know a thing or two about corn. My dad’s favorite to plant was silver queen – almost pearl white and sweet! Yum. My family loves to stop to get the roasted ears at the NC State Fair every year – and yep! lots of butter. As for series, we just finished up The Devil in Ohio (the exact opposite of the cute series you described). Yikes. We are currently into Resident Alien (on SyFy) and Rings of Power – long time Tolkien fans and it does not disappoint.
    Hoping there are lots of grains left in your hour glass!
    Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 21, 2022 / 5:07 pm

      Hi, Linda, and thanks for the input. If you like detective series, you might want to give Trapped a try (if you have Amazon). My wife and I are halfway through season one. We’ve enjoyed each episode. The show is set in Iceland, and snow and cold weather play pretty big parts.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. emmblu September 24, 2022 / 12:35 am

    When I was in the US, plouts were my favorites, those fruits that were the happy union of plums and apricots.
    Now that I’m in the Philippines, my palate veers to the exotic. Dragonfruit, papaya made tastier by the spray of the sea, and mangoes so sweet and juicy that the pulp is practically thread-free. Ahh, the simple pleasures in life…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 24, 2022 / 6:52 am

      The world would be a much less sweet place without fruit! Hi, and thanks very much for adding your thoughts.

      Like

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