fall comfort?

Fall is, hands-down, my favorite season. The crispy San Francisco air, the alternating mist and fog with clear cold sunny days, the fall apples and mushrooms hitting the markets, and the beginning of the glorious rain - there's more than i can begin to describe. When the weather starts turning, i definitely shift modes, as well. I want to go out less - instead, i want to welcome my friends into my home. I want to cook for them, sit around candles with a glass of wine or an irish coffee and chat, late into the night. It's a social season for me - but a quietly social season. What are some of the things you cook in fall? Your autumn rituals? I'll share some of mine - and would love to hear yours...

In the fall, i tend towards cheese courses over dessert. With a tasty dessert wine or a rich red. I love to cook soup for the beginning of every meal - my menu planning starts falling back into soup-entrée-salad-cheese again. I start thinking about beef bourgignon, chantarelles with persillade, and butternut squash soup. (In fact, i made a transitionary contribution to a potluck last weekend - my first pot of butternut squash soup, a fall food - and a lemon-raspberry tart, with the last of the summer berries.) I want to bake - pizzas and bread, cookies and coffee cakes, tarte tatin and savory brunch tarts. Cinnamon buns to share with neighbors on a cold morning.

I start wanting to send out paper-based invitations to dinner parties - i focus on the creative things that are nice to look at, and lovely to touch. I pay more attention to my space, keeping things tidy, ready at any moment for guests to drop in. I tend to keep food on hand in the fridge in anticipation of feeding people when they drop by - a tidbit of this, or a morsel of that. I start thinking about menus for Thanksgiving, for our annual tree-trimming, for birthday dinners and special meals for dear friends. I even start musing on the theme for NYF. I tend to journal more - re-reading my menu-journal, i see i have many more entries in the autumn and spring than the summer and winter.

So - do tell - what are your autumn habits, rituals, and comforts?

Posted by shock on October 09, 2003 | TrackBack

- spice scented candles
- I tend to make more stock in fall (hours of wonderful cooking smells)
- I bake more (warms the kitchen, baking smell!)
- since we're all (read: dog) home more, I vacuum more!
- I leave the backdoor open while I cook. Love the smell of fog and rain in the garden!

Posted by: rebecca on October 9, 2003 8:08 PM

What a wonderful topic, Meriko. I loooooove fall. It's my favorite season as well. It used to be the time of year I would allow myself to go on a shopping spree to collect more autumn colored sweaters. I love sweaters and soft comfy clothing that make you feel like you never got out of your pajamas. I also enjoy cold weather layering and scarves! The weather of fall is just wonderful. There is something so invigorating about the crispness and clear skies (in some parts), and the visible evidence of things changing around you as the leaves change color.

Here, in Wisconsin, fall has triggered knitting season for many people, it seems. Fall here is letting people know that it's time to batten down for the colder part of the year. We may have snow on the ground before the end of the month. So, it's a good time to pick up your knitting or crocheting or whatever it is you do when it's too cold to take in any outdoor activities. [More on winter outdoor activities in a couple of months.] I now belong to a knitting group and it's really a wonderful thing. Women who are mostly in their early 30s sit in the round knitting and sharing conversation. The host always supplies a yummy desert and hot beverages. Women conversing, yummy deserts and knitting...I think I'm going to love this new hobby.

I don't cook much, but I do enjoy breakfast time. When it's cold out, I enjoy snuggling up with my hot tea and listening to NPR each morning. I love the idea of cooking pots of soup and baking bread, but somehow I never get to it. I'll leave that to you all.

Posted by: stephanie on October 10, 2003 8:03 AM

I don't know what my current fall rituals are going to turn out to be, as I'm still adjusting to the gorgeous California weather...

Foodish yearnings I get in the fall:
-Sweet Mama squash (a sweeter variety of Mother Hubbard -- starchier than Butternut, and more intensely squash-flavoured) baked whole in the oven and mashed up with butter and maple syrup.
-Apples tart enough to make my face pucker at the first bite, with sharp cheddar.
-Apple pie! And hot cider!
-Enjoying the smell of woodsmoke and leaves and rain.
-Strong coffee to offset the dark mornings.

Rituals... Hm. Like beca, more baking, in part as an excuse to heat the oven. Pulling favourite sweaters out again. Long walks with the boy, kicking leaves with my feet (the leaf-kicking is essential). And I like to light candles and drink stronger liquor. :)

Posted by: naomi on October 17, 2003 12:00 PM

Oh, and -- buying more produce than I can possibly eat at the market, because it's harvest and everything looks so beautiful!

Posted by: naomi on October 17, 2003 12:01 PM
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