Saturday, September 15, 2012

Embracing Fall

In past years, I dreaded the fall.  I've always considered myself a warm-weather person -- I much prefer to be hot than cold -- and most winters seem to drag on and on and on...

The last couple of years, however, I've felt myself embracing the fall.  Maybe part of it is getting older.  I think I appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons.  Also, part of it is definitely that the winters haven't been as harsh recently.  But mostly, it's because the fall just has so much darn character, from the weather, to the activities, to the foods.

The sunlight hits us from a particular angle and the sky glows that striking blue.

Crisp fall walks are the best, right Patton?

The best apples come straight from the orchard.

Bowman Orchards, to be exact.  And while you're there, have a scoop of apple cider donut ice cream.

Garlic lovers eat their fill at festivals.

It takes a true garlic lover to eat straight samples. 

And we use up the tail end of the summer harvest.

 Stir fry! Broccoli, peppers, onions, kale, bok choy, with garlic and toasted sesame oil.

Homemade pickled beets over arugula, topped with goat cheese and candied almonds.

More pickles, anyone?

Roasted eggplant pitas!  Prep eggplant and roast at 450 until it's browned (flip once).  Stack on a whole grain pita with hummus, spinach and feta.  Good lunch!

I hope you are enjoying fall, whether you are cooking, outdoors-ing, or participating in other Autumn-ish activities...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

September is a wonderful and awkward time of year.

Apple season came early this year.  Go get 'em!

Technically, it's still summer.  We're wearing shorts and sundresses, and planning outdoor activities.  We're buying nectarines...

He really loves fresh produce.

and making fresh marinara.

Connecting with my inner Italian Grandma.

On the other hand, it's fall.  It's cool enough in the morning and evening to wear a jacket, and at the same farm that we bought the nectarines, we gobbled up fresh cider donuts.

The circle of life?

It's the overlap of summer and fall, and endings and beginnings are always bitter sweet.

This was one of the best summers I've had in years, and I'm sorry to say goodbye to it. I traveled and celebrated and cooked and drank and danced. I made new friends, and spent quality time with the old.  I tasted wine and collected sea shells. I swam in a lake and in the ocean.  I drove to another country. I made pickles.

Montreal, Quebec

Cayuga Lake, Ithaca, NY 

Making Dilly Beans!

I felt relaxed for the first time in a long time, and I'm anxious to get back to the grind.  But I'm also excited to start a new chapter as an 8th grade English teacher, and hopefully, further establish myself at my new school. I'm excited to make new friends, and try new things.  I'm excited for the learning and growing.

If this doesn't make you excited to read, I don't know what will.

Goodbye, Summer. Hello, Fall!