In normal times, food trends often started in restaurants, with top chefs. Maybe they got written up in food magazines or blogs. After some time, you could find the trending ingredients on grocery store shelves.

If you’re like me, you want to keep on tasting summer for at least another couple of weeks. I am especially reluctant to say goodbye to the many shades of homegrown tomatoes I’ve been stuffing myself silly with for the past two months.

Kate McDermott learned to bake at her grandmother’s elbow, watching “Geeg” as she mixed, whipped and rolled her famous lemon meringue pie, but it wasn’t until 20 years ago that she was really bitten by the pie bug, falling down an experimental rabbit hole of “what makes a really good crust,” sometimes making up to five iterations in a single day.

It is officially fall, and fat red tomatoes, sweet corn and fresh berries are giving way to root vegetables and fruits like apples and pears. But there’s still time to enjoy one of the late summer season’s most versatile offerings — eggplant.

Here’s an easy stir-fry dinner. Pepper steak is a popular Chinese dish made with tender beef, bell peppers and onion and cooked in a savory sauce.

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