Not just yet.


There was a chill in the air this Labor Day weekend. A September kind of chill that normally comes later in the month, not on that first weekend, when we're still hoping to soak in the last of summer's heat out on the boat. The sun came out here and there, but mostly just there.

We stayed out of the water the entire holiday, wearing jeans and sweatshirts, inching closer and closer to the bonfire until the wind picked up and had us scooting our chairs quickly back. Fall came blowing in with a vengeance, and as much as I'd like to welcome the open windows and the cooler temperatures and the rustling leaves (oh, and a September wedding in 18 days), I still feel like I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to summer.


So instead of getting excited about cooler evenings and big pots of soup and stick-to-the-bone meals and apple pies, I'm going to make a few final grasps at summer. Well, just one in particular.

This recipe for buffalo grilled shrimp was from my bachelorette party in Michigan, the weekend after July 4, when summer was at its peak and there was no end in sight. It was a perfect weekend for boating, and having drinks with girlfriends, and gathering around the kitchen island to a meal of appetizers. The sun was so hot and the day was so long and our bellies so full, we struggled to make it out to dinner. It was the kind of weekend when passing out from exhaustion at the end of the day is just proof of a summer well spent.

Buffalo Grilled Shrimp with Blue Cheese Dip (from Gourmet)

For blue cheese dip
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons milk

For shrimp
18 jumbo shrimp (1 1/2 to 2 lb), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup hot sauce such as Frank’s RedHot
1/2 bunch celery, cut into 4-inch sticks

Make dip:
Stir together ingredients, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Make shrimp:
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium heat for gas)*

Toss shrimp with oil and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Oil grill rack, then grill shrimp, covered only if using a gas grill, turning once, until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes total.

Stir together butter and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss until coated. Serve shrimp with dip and celery.

*Shrimp can be cooked in an oiled hot 2-burner grill pan over medium heat.


  1. goodness, i am in love with your pix!
    your weekend sounds divine. forgive me but i've always associated Labor Day weekend as the start of cooler weather and the coldness you experienced is exactly what i was missing this year!
    this looks to be such a loverly dish, one that compells everyone to gather round the kitchen and sneak shrimp before they even make it to the serving platter.

    ps. i thought of you yesterday and wondered how your weekend at the lake went and if you were going ape over the wedding preps. just remember to breathe and enjoy the ride

  2. lan - i've always associated labor day with really hot weather! i guess i'm just not ready for the cooler air, but it's definitely here, i can feel it when i walk out the door in the morning. it's like a back-to-school type of chill. thanks for comment and for thinking of me -- wedding planning is certainly taking over my life, and i'll be glad when it's time to party already!

  3. This is seemingly one of your least popular newer posts, judging by the comments. I don't know if it was the cloudy skies, or the Styrofoam plates, or just a coincidence that kept people from commenting. This is an excellent post. You really captured EXACTLY what labor day weekend was this year, an early end to summer, the cosmos' way of telling us to brace ourselves for the coming storm that would be final preparations for the wedding. The food was great, the weather wasn't, the company was great, the water wasn't, and your pics are definitely great. I wish this post would've gotten more attention, I think it's perfect.

  4. M - Thank you, love. I like this post a lot, too. Maybe it's just one of those "you had to be there" kind of things. Either way, I'm glad you were there.


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