It's no secret that I wait for this season all year. The air changes and there is an unequivocal shift of energy...an equal mix of electricity and deep comfort. The flocks of birds migrating in such perfect harmony, the turning of the leaves, the beautiful lacing pattern of the clouds, the crisp, moody evenings, all alerting us that, alas...it's finally Fall.
I love the traditions and rituals that I have created to welcome the season, as well as looking forward to the surprises it will invariably deliver. From craft painting rocks in the community for the kiddos, to outfitting the front porch in full autumnal glory, to the return of leafy trail hikes and homemade mulled cider, to igniting my imagination with the terrifying tale of Bram Stoker's, "Dracula" (one of my absolute favorites, which gets better every year)...these are all ceremonial acts that honor comfort, joy, serenity and pay homage to the graceful authority of Mother Nature. All sublimely wonderful things.
The harmony of all of the senses, fully engaged, is my defining impression of Fall. The natural sights, sounds, smells, flavors and FEELING of Fall is just so innately satisfying. And the club of communal admirers runs deep. Personally, I dream of this season's culinary delights as far back as mid-summer, as I've begun to have my fill of unrelenting 90 degree mornings (and afternoons, and evenings....). I've even unofficially declared a transitional season throughout the entire month of September (see, Almost Fall), so that I can cheat a little bit with the essence of Fall, without melting away in the late Summer sun.
Cider is most often my first "go-to", because it immediately calms and uplifts every part of my being. Apples, pears, cinnamon, cloves, cardomom, ginger....what beats that? Probably only one thing for me....and it goes by the name of soup.
It's Soup Season. Actually, it's always soup season for me. I could devote this entire website solely to this mood soothing, perfectly nourishing main course, which is a staple on my weekly menu, regardless of season. One of my favorites, which simply goes by, Harvest Soup, boasts a cast of Fall's main attractions. Roasted apples, butternut squash, sweet potatoes (or yams), carrots, and sweet onion, seasoned in any number of ways, depending on my mood. This time, I've used ginger, turmeric, coriander, a drizzle of maple syrup, and finished with some pepita seeds and a generous scoop of tri-color couscous:
Alongside Mother Nature, I am shifting my patterns in my natural surroundings. While I observe the seasons coming full circle once again, I realize that I am, too. This season is a prime opportunity to spend winding down, to pause, reflect, honor and be grateful for what we have accomplished this year. And eating. I'll be doing a lot of that.