In Transition Meal: Tomatoes, Figs & Salute to Summer

I’m not going to allow September to leave me so quickly. August slipped through my hands like a silent kiss in the night and before I knew it, everyone was bidding Summer adieu.

Admist our hectic August calendar and new studio build out, my wandering brain didn’t fully register that we touched into September. Waking up over the last few mornings I sensed a change at dawn’s rising. The air greeted me with a slightly cooler breath. I grabbed a sweater. The stone garden pathways were chilly against my toes. I slipped on my garden sneakers.

garden black zebra heirloom tomatoes & strawberry figs

At that moment, the realization that September had arrived finally hit me. I stood underneath our pomegranate tree, staring at the dangling red globes of fruit and sensed that Fall was in sneaking quietly behind me, making me un-aware that Summer never really said it’s formal goodbyes.

But I’m not feeling lost that Summer is over. I refuse to let Summer leave me completely.

This is a transition period now and that’s what I’ll refer to this moment as. I’m not fully ready to embrace Fall’s arrival, nor am I going to succomb to packing up my Summer tank tops and white shoes. Although regardless of the season, I’m guilty of fashion faux pas by wearing white shoes year round. I believe in white shoes.

Our garden is equally in transition right now. The last of the sweet heirloom tomatoes remain sweetened on the vines. Nectar sweet strawberry figs are dropping like honey bombs for the birds to feast on. And finally, Fall’s pomegranates are becoming more beautiful by the day with their deep red hues reminiscent of Autumn colors.

This meal is our transition meal and embraces everything amazing at the end of one warm glorious season to the beginning of a new, rich Autumn. Thick slices of sweet heirloom tomatoes, sticky sweet figs, thin slices of fatty charcuterie and a few snowfalls of sea salt make a wonderful transition meal. It’s a meal full of flavors, textures and meaning.

Often times when we look at our platter, there’s plenty of stories that can be told with each ingredient. What we eat should nourish us with a bit of history, emotion and story. For us, this transition meal is one of them.

Hope you all had a wonderful Summer.

I’m still embracing Summer for a bit while longer while reaching out to welcome Fall.

– Diane

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Chris

    Wow, beautiful photography!! I’ve never seen such unique figs with ruby flesh inside! If you know the variety, do you mind sharing?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      We aren’t 100% sure, but the nursery said they were called strawberry figs. We haven’t seen any varieties in other nurseries under the same name, but that’s the best we’ve got. Thanks for the kind words.

  2. Amelia

    Beautiful figs! Lovely light. :)

  3. Kalliope

    Riot of colors!!
    If you do not believe in Valentine, I think this combination of red ought to be the hallmark of!!
    Honestly your blog “gladdens the heart” …! Glad I discovered even k ‘now …. I happen to have fig trees in my farm but like yours not, unfortunately …Once, when I was a kid we had something similar, with shooting so many years back n ‘scraping my memories but most of my beloved mother, who embellish our lives n’ our property ………. Greetings from Greece!

  4. Emme @Food Samba

    Amazing pictures! I too, fell like summer just flew bye. Our crappy Seattle summer weather didn’t help the situation. We probably had 1 week of 80 + degrees days.

  5. Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake

    I’ve never heard of strawberry figs before, but these look incredible! And absolutely gorgeous photography.

  6. Nate @ House of Annie

    those strawberry figs are fantastic! I haven’t had a fresh fig in a long time…any fig will do, be it brown, red or black!

  7. emiglia

    Looks delicious! Transition meals are the order of the day here too, when the produce is half-summer half-fall. I love the look of those figs and tomatoes!


    LOVE the photos. You make it seem like I have never seen a fig or tomato before! xoxo

  9. Brooke @ Food Woolf

    Those figs are true food porn. I had no idea how hungry I was until I took one looks at these gorgeous photos.

  10. MarecOne

    Great photos! Did make me little hungry tho.. :)

  11. Julie from Burnt Carrots

    I’m so jealous that you have a pomegranate tree! I agree summer passed too quickly this year. I’m hanging to every last bit of summer with with my flip flops, white pants, and mojitos!

  12. Wine Harlots

    Love figs — and the beginning of Indian Summer.

  13. Muy Bueno Cookbook

    I love figs and yet have never heard of Strawberry Figs…these look divine.

  14. MikeVFMK

    You’re right, it might not be fall yet. It’s probably just a warning sign or a gentle reminder that the days ahead of us are littered with new beginnings. Love all the things happening to you two. The new studio. Garden changes. And this beautiful transition meal.

  15. Suzanne

    those figs look amazing, feel like I could taste them looking at this gorgeous photo! Living in the South and 50 + days of 100+ weather the last 2 days of high 80’s feels heaven sent, although I’m not ready to say good bye to Summer, I do love the Fall food and decor.

  16. Deb

    Sumptuous photos! The Strawberry figs are luscious and very tempting. Thank you for sharing the bounty of summer easing into fall.

  17. ann

    Oh! What a lovely picture. I was just in Whole Foods here in LA yesterday and they had three various types of figs. I saw the green ones and was thinking I might try an appetizer I just had at a new restaurant in our town. You stuff the figs with goat cheese, wrap them in proscuitto and bake them….OMG delish and serve them on a bed of mixed greens. I’m hungry just thinking about it.

  18. Helene

    I love this time of the year, brings me back in the kitchen. Beautiful shots!

  19. a suburban kitchen

    Love the shots. Nice words.

  20. Lisa @ Life in Green

    Beautiful post. The transition of summer to fall is so very bittersweet. I love summer the best – but with fall comes some great cool weather and different food to harvest. Though the short transition time is something to cherish and hold on to…days don’t get much better than this.

    If only the transition to winter was just as nice.

  21. joey

    You summer harvests are awesome! As usual, so envious of your garden and its bounty :) Those figs look heavenly!

  22. Connie

    Figs, they have to be one of my favourite fruit. Natures perfection. Try one straight from the tree, the sugars in fruit at that point are at their best.

  23. Yelena

    Beautiful photography !

  24. karin@yumandmore

    you are lucky to have these beautiful figs! have been waiting for them here in germany but the yield has been so low this year the turkey is eating them all domestically and not exporting as usual. italy only has tiny expensive ones that look very rained on. what a weird fruit summer. guess the us is more stable to that regard. enjoy!! and shoo fall.. wait a little longer pleeeeaaasee. ;-))

  25. Karen M.

    The thought of any of those gorgeous figs going to the birds is heartbreaking… I know, they have to eat too. I’d love to be one of them! Oh, to have so many of these gems that some go unpicked.

    We are feeling the early tell-tale symptoms of Fall here on the San Francisco Peninsula – much nicer than right in San Francisco where it’s really chilly and foggy – cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon – cool at night. I dread the end of Day-Light Savings Time….

    Truly, I think these photos are some of the best you’ve posted – maybe it’s because the subjects, heirloom tomatoes, luscious figs and salami make my heart go thump, thump…

  26. Jock Begg

    How wonderful to receive your “summer’s ending thoughts” and gorgeous picture to boot.
    My Father passed away a few years ago and in his memory we took a cutting from his favorite fig tree, a Massive Black Mission, and planted it here in Corona del Mar. I’m smiling as I write this note, becuz, my father, a Type-II diabetic, was told by his doctor to limit his summer-time intake of his garden’s fruit.
    Accordingly, to his doctor, he professed complete compliance, however to us, his family, we could always find him, in August and September’s afternoons, tucked under the canopy of “his” shade producing fig tree enjoying the bounty of that year’s crop…and what bountiful crops he always enjoyed there in Goleta.
    This summer, just last week, was the first summer “his” tree’s cutting presented us with incredibly sweet and succulent fruit…and, until I rec’d your latest email I hadn’t quite tied it all together.
    Thank you for bringing back a family smile-producing-memory,

  27. Vicki Bensinger

    What a lovely story about the coming of fall. I’m thrilled that fall is upon our doorstep right now. It’s my favorite time of year, brisk air, smells of pies baking and stoves brewing up all sorts of goodies. There isn’t a better time of year in my opinion.

    Your photos are beautiful. How fantasitc to have a pomegrante tree in your backyard.

  28. Heidi

    I’ve never seen more beautiful figs. Like luscious capsules of jam.

  29. Kay @ The Church Cook

    Living in Savannah, GA, I am so ready for some cool weather. Your beautiful images of figs and tomatoes are so refreshing.

  30. lynn @ the actor's diet

    figs figs figs! i just posted a cute fig drawing on my facebook wall:

  31. Sanjeeta kk fresh the Figs figs, but all I get here are bruised and overripe fruits :(

  32. Shaina

    Sniffle. I”m having a hard time admitting I let August slip away, but I’ll enjoy the next few weeks and get out as much as possible, harvesting tomatoes until they just won’t produce anymore. Enjoy September, Diane!

  33. Susan in the Boonies

    These photographs are poetry. Seriously. They are so lovely, my heart is in my throat.

    I wish I lived someplace where I could have a garden.

    One step off my sidewalk and I am covered in chiggers, ticks, poison ivy and itchy red bumps, all summer long. The soil is clay and rocky. We have no sunshine if I DID build above ground beds. Too many trees. Between the rattlesnakes and the copperheads and the cottonmouths, I’m afraid of my own yard.

    Sad, ain’t it?


    1. Karen M.

      Good lord, where do you live??? Makes me feel so spoiled…

  34. colleen

    Is Summer over? We haven’t had summer weather to speak of this year. Keep waiting for warm weather here in Marin county. Mostly temps in low 70s all “summer.” Now, the calendar says it’s September. whew. I’m sure in SF they must have had the coldest “summer” in a long time. They get so much fog. Well, it’s better than the very hot weather others get. I’m not complaining.

  35. @HilaryFleming

    This makes me want to eat figs. Beautiful photos.

  36. Kristina @ spabettie

    beautiful figs!

    it’s funny that while we are feeling the chill of winter in the evenings here (Portland), we are just getting some warm temperatures in our days! we were in the pool today, and our September is usually really nice. I am looking forward to scarves, sweaters and boots, though!

  37. Nicole

    After a long, cold, rainy summer the sun is finally shining here. Even though the leaves are yellow, I too will still pretend it is summer for at least one more day. Our neighbors are having a BBQ tonight and I am bringing homemade limoncello as it was never warm enough to enjoy it this summer. If I had white shoes I would wear them!

  38. Natashia@foodonpaper

    What a lovely way to see out summer – with a collection of summer produce. In Australia we have just entered Spring and I can’t wait for summer and the food it brings! Oh and those figs look amazing! That red…

  39. Snippets of Thyme

    I think Averie and I are your biggest fans! When your blog shows up at the top, I can’t wait to pop over and feast my eyes on your beautiful photography and styling. Perfect combination of late summer flavors. I wish I could pluck one of those figs right off of the screen.

  40. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    I believe in flipflops year round. Not white, but definitely rockin’ the Rainbow flips 365 :)

    It’s been chilly-ish here in San Diego in the evenings, too. I can feel fall on the way. And I don’t like it. I just blogged yesterday that I wish it was watermelon season and summer…all year!

    Enjoy this transition season & your white shoes!

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