Perhaps it has to do with my foodie side. I love to cook and eat and autumn is so rich with produce, fruits, mushrooms ... Its smells, too, are enchanting. The tinge of wet foliage in the air, the smell of overturned dirt in the garden, the moss. Or think of the autumn smells in the kitchen: cinnamon, cardamom, pumpkin soup, roasted beets. I'm salivating just writing this.
So inevitably, a post about autumn is going to be a post about food and cookbooks, too. Two of my favourite cookbooks are The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier and Small Plates & Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoaga. One of the facts that I like about these two cookbooks is that the recipes are divided into sections according to the four seasons. I'm already deep into the autumn chapters at the moment.
Just yesterday, Clotilde's book inspired me to put together a delicious salad. Her recipe called for grated carrot and beet root. I added grated cheese (I used a local cheese but next time I'll use goat cheese because it would fit better), fresh figs, and honey-mustard dressing. The combination of flavors was delicious. I served it with Aran's Focaccia with heirloom cherry tomatoes.
Aran's book is great if you're gluten intolerant. None of us are so I mostly use more common flours instead of the ones she suggests (because those are incredibly difficult to find here), but the recipes never disappoint even so. There's a certain freshness and simplicity in her food and I love that.
We have a few warm, even hot days ahead of us still this weekend. Despite that, we're well on our way into autumn. I'm already planning to go hunting for mushrooms. Every weekend, we go on bike rides and on the way we pick blackberries and eat them until our teeth and tongues are black with their juices. In a month, we'll pick grapes in our vineyard, and a month after that there'll be persimmon.
I believe time flows more slowly in autumn. Or perhaps it just seems so because we stop more often to enjoy the smells and sights in nature. It's a period of reflection, and despite nature slowly shutting down for winter, I think autumn is also a time of creation. Vacation is over, school starts again, we return to work and start on new projects. The third draft of my PhD awaits me in the coming months. Another round of edits of my YA novel, too. New inspiration, new projects. Food always features heavily in everything I write. Autumn, too.