It’s that tremulous and particular time of year – neither summer nor fall, but something precarious and magical and in-between. Call it “Falummer.” The weather in Portland this week has oscillated madly from the low 50s to the low 90s. It’s hard to know how to dress, but I kind of like the pleasant sense of confusion.

Here’s the St. John’s Bridge.

Here’s a picture of me at my post-birthday barbecue with my new roommates and a few new friends. Emiliano is second-from-left, next to me, and Isca is third-from-right with the crazy face. They are fun.

Here’s a cheese ball I made for my French conversation group last week. Incredibly easy, cheap, artful, and a definite crowd pleaser! (See recipe below.)

What you need: 1 pack of cream cheese, plus a cup of blue cheese, and any and all herbs and veggies and dried fruit you need to use up. For this particular cheese ball, I used roasted garlic, dill, green and red pepper, carrot and shallot, plus dried dates.

How to do it: Mix softened cream cheese with blue cheese and microwave for 30 seconds or so. Chop veggies and herbs and dried fruit up as small as you can. Mix it all together. Place mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and use wrapping to mold it into a big old ball. Refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight so the flavors can set. Eat!


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