Archive for September, 2011

Fall Notes and Quotes

“Autumn is a season followed immediately by…looking forward to spring.”

Doug Larson 

That pretty much captures my beloved stepmother’s view of the season at hand, portent that it is of “winter, with its bitin’, whinin’ wind” (Roy Bean); “winter, when every mile is two” (George Herbert).  I’m  fascinated by how strongly – and diversely – we respond to the inevitable pressing on of days that delivers us from one quarterly astronomical period to the next. 

I have two cherished long-time friends, one who detests the cold and could never be lured away from her temperate Florida existence, and the other, who would dearly miss the distinct seasonal phases built into her northern Illinois locale.  I myself may rant a bit in the midst of a particularly frigid winter’s darkest, shortest day, but I am also flooded with inspiration at the sight of a bronze-leafed tree or the pristine glimmer of newly deposited snow.  

“Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it,

and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

George Eliot a.k.a. Mary Ann Evans 

Thus far autumn’s eve is being ushered in by cold, damp winds and darkened skies – this, of course, following a 90 degree day succeeded closely by the first frost warning – but we still hope to be treated to a spell of classically mild, clear, sunny-crisp days in the weeks ahead.  As the local ducks rehearse formations for their mission of seeking eternal summer somewhere other than cruelly fickle Minnesota, neighborhood squirrels are aflutter with home-bound activity, as if to say, “You can’t fool me with this ‘Indian summer-not’ routine.”   

While I won’t go so far as the pseudonymous George Eliot, whose fervor over the movement of the sun across the celestial equator betrays her gender in a single phrase, I do find joy in the favorable jogging weather and the chameleon-like display as plain green leaves take on rich hues of goldenrod and fire-red, virtually over night.  But then a certain French philosopher says it better than I: 

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf’s a flower.”

Albert Camus 

A fleeting flower, to be sure, but glorious nonetheless – and valued all the more for its transience.  I, for one, can’t wait for the spectacle to begin. 

Throughout it all – suspense; anticipation; spine-tingling exhibitions of God’s incredible artistry; the challenge of bearing up under the harsher conditions to follow – we must, of course, keep up our strength.  As you may have noticed, the stoking of the human furnace is a mission this writer does not take lightly, warm weather or cold.  And since it’s been a while, I have a collection of enticing dishes to share with you, held together by no particular thematic thread, but poised to chase the chill from the most blustery autumn day. 

For that purpose, may I suggest Baked Chicken with Black Beans and Rice served with a simple tossed greens salad, Homemade Whole Wheat Flat Bread, and Ginger Snap Ice Cream Sandwiches or perhaps a menu of Crock Pot Pulled Beef with Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce served on toasted Homemade Ciabatta Buns, and along side Cole Slaw Lite, Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries, a melon basket, and Brownie Hot Fudge Ice Cream Bombé.    

For the final note and the last quote, non-foodies may jump to the last two paragraphs. (more…)

September 24, 2011 at 1:44 am Leave a comment

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