As the weather is changing, the air becoming crisper and chillier and the sun setting earlier, I realize summer is coming to an end. While this makes me sad, as I will miss the longer days and even the hot D.C. heat, I must say that I am excited to welcome the seasonal change.
When I think of fall, I think of ...
I am sad to have to say goodbye to the juicy local tomatoes and berries I enjoyed all summer. Tomatoes are my favorite summer food, and I've given myself one last tomato hoorah, eating as many as possible these past few weeks -- the end of tomato season. With the going of tomatoes, however, comes the appearance of the gourds and other root vegetables in my CSA box: butternut squash and pumpkins, beets and parsnips. I found a delicious recipe for butternut squash the other day in my How to Cook Everything
The coming of fall also offers a time to reconnect with the earth. It reminds us that the earth is still in charge and still presses on; fall is a necessary aspect of life (even if you live in southern California, where it always stays warm) and I don't want to know what life would be like without it. Fall also poses a picture of natural beauty. Have you had the chance yet to witness a group of leaves dancing in circles with the wind? Or that the leaves still on the trees are slightly beginning to change? Living in such an urban environment, I know that I sometimes forget to focus on these beautiful aspects of the natural environment. The change in season provides a good wake up call to remember to look for these special moments.
One of my favorite holidays happens to be in the fall. It combines food, connection to nature, and family. Can you guess it? Thanksgiving. My family has a tradition of reuniting at our north Georgia farm every year for Thanksgiving. We all participate in cooking delicious Thanksgiving dishes such as pecan pie, mashed potatoes, biscuits, sweet potato souffle and more (all from scratch and using local and organic ingredients whenever possible). It is so much fun because it provides a chance for our family members to bond and catch up while we prepare the food and then happily eat it later in the day. After our huge meal, we throw on sweaters and boots and take long hikes throughout our farm and the north Georgia hills. It really does give a great chance to reconnect with each other, our roots and our connection to Earth. Somehow, it just wouldn't be the same if it was in any other season.