I can't say that August is my favorite time of year. I prefer September and October; most likely the result of living in Kansas City for 10 years. I had just gotten married and we moved there so I could attend the Kansas City Art Institute. I hated the summer. We didn't have air-conditioning for the first 8 years we lived there and that will make you hate summer in Kansas City. I'm sure my husband was sick-and-tired of hearing me say, "I think I'm going to perish". I would walk to the grocery store just to cool off. Once inside, I would forget about the heat and took my sweet time buying all kinds of food items (especially in the freezer section). When I finally stepped outdoors and returned to our second floor brownstone apartment I no longer had an appetite, nor did I feel like doing anything in my hot kitchen with all that I had just purchased. I looked forward to September and October. My hunger returned and it was cool enough to put my shorts aside and wear pants again for the first time since May.
I live in St. Paul, Minnesota now and August is much cooler here than it was 440 miles south. And I'd have to say that August is my favorite month gastronomically. If you grow your own tomatoes or have access to garden tomatoes through a local farmers' market, you understand.
And one of my favorite ways to eat a tomato is in a sandwich. No bacon. No lettuce. Just bread (make that really good bread), mayo, heirloom tomatoes, and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. Sometimes I have Basil Mayonnaise in my refrigerator and that will make this sandwich even better.
• 1 cup good quality mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Whisk all of the above ingredients together. The mayonnaise can be kept in a jar in the refrigerator for one week.