My article for the Leaf Chronicle, originally published on Sep 25th—getting caught-up again!
I know I’ve been going on and on about how much I enjoy this time of year—the changes that take place are wonderful. For one thing, I feel as though I’ve got more energy; perhaps it’s the cool morning walks. But I don’t think it is just me. I’ve noticed it in others as well—smiles come easier and folks will stop and chat, without diving for an air conditioned space.
One thing I look forward to the most is the change in our menu planning. The kids have come to accept the fact that there are certain foods I will not prepare during the summer. For instance, I will not make spaetzle, chicken divan or lasagna until the temperatures cool down.
(I had a short-lived recipe affair with Julia Child last year; “short” only because of time limitations.) I’m gearing-up for my first batch of the season. Also in waiting are the recipes for chili, wedding soup and gumbo.
Do you do this, too? Do you have seasonal recipes?
I hope so, mainly because I can’t really justify my reasons and it would be nice to know that I’m not alone in my seasonal menu edicts. It’s not as if I have to hang-out over a wood burning stove without the benefit of a/c. It’s not because I don’t eat these foods during the summer—Jane Burney’s Chicken Divan and soups are some of my favorite meals—year ‘round. In fact, I eat soup all summer long. Perhaps it is the “comfort food” status of most of these dishes; the fact that, in and of themselves, they imply cooler temperatures and cozy kitchens. Whatever the reason, I know my kids are looking forward to a change in the dinner menu offerings at the King Kompound.
I guess I could loosen-up a little and now that I think about it, I did fix gumbo twice this summer!
I’ve also found that with the change of season, I am itching to do some entertaining. It is difficult to squeeze in some time with family and friends, though. Darren’s new work schedule doesn’t have him home very many hours and we tend to fill-up our dance cards well in advance! I will have to put some thought into it, but we can probably get something on the schedule.
I’m looking forward to sitting outside, talking with friends (without “glistening”), bonfires and charades by firelight.
Do you have fall rituals? Are you a football tailgater? Perhaps you like to drive through the beautiful Smoky Mountains to take in the changing foliage. I hope you’ll take a minute to share some of your favorite fall customs with me.
Thanks for your indulgence,