Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: feels like fall

feels like fall


- cool rainy days alternating with some sunny warm days
- the first long slow oven-roasted chicken
- the first cold night at 8C (46F)
- the first pot of chicken soup simmering on the stove
- floating medallions of parsnips and carrots like last night's Harvest Moon
- quiet easing into tomorrow's September equinox, unlike these celebrations
- hoping for an Indian summer like those of my youth

Marja-Leena | 22/09/2010 | 10 comments
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Mellow ease into the season's change once I moved past the unexpected visual change from what I'd expected. Evocative text, can almost feel the air, smell the cooking.

Autumn is my favorite season, though there's always a sense of loss that accompanies it. In a few words, you captured all the ways we comfort ourselves and prepare for the coming cold.

Naomi, I think the change of seasons seems more of a shock this time with the unusual amount of rain we're having after a summer of drought. Hence comfort food and a warm kitchen. How's the weather in Portland?

Patry! Thanks for the visit. I usually love fall but it's been a rather mixed feeling this time. This was confirmed by just reading that we may be in for a record wet September and a colder snowier winter. Soup weather ahead. I still haven't brought in all my potted plants or taken cuttings. Hope you are having a nicer fall!

It's going to be tropical here for the next couple of days. Only the early setting sun will give it away. I just checked the Farmer's Almanac and they're calling this coming winter "the equivalent of a cold slap in the face"! Oh dear. I guess we'd better enjoy this unseasonably warm weather while it's here! I'll be looking forward to warming the house with roasting chickens and soups.

Our furniture finally arrived today - late today - so I'm sitting on my very own couch surrounded by lamps I couldn't find bulbs for but, all in all, quite content. Now that there are coats and all the assorted paraphernalia nearby I'm looking forward to an autumn that will lead to the first east coast winter in 17 years. Your post about the delights of fall warmed my heart.

Leslee, yes, enjoy the warmth while it lasts. With our current heavy rain even the days are darker, a taste of what's ahead.

Susan, sounds like you are starting to feel at home a little more! Good thing Hurricane Igor passed you by unlike poor Newfoundland.

Oh, another first to add to the list above: lighting a fire in the fireplace tonight, early this fall!

I take it your list covers a metamorphosis - from oven-roasted (Funny that, a bit like pan-fried; one tries to imagine alternatives like oven-fried and pan-roasted) chicken to chicken soup. You speak as a kitchen expert, I speak merely as a consumer. Quite prepared to eat roasted chicken at the height of summer but less inclined to eat salads in the depth of winter. I see you've donned your rose-tinted spectacles to get you through the hard months. Indian summers happened only in your youth, when the gels were so pretty and the lads so... er, polite? Me, youth is like looking down the wrong end of the binoculars: the girls were dismissive (of my advances) and the lads were bullies. Eggs were powdered and wine unheard-of. As to Indian summers it was ages before I met my first Indian. Come on, M-L, would you really go back, even if for those blissful summers. As you can see I'm in a puckish mood. But then when am I not?

BB, your puckishness is like the salt and pepper in the chicken soup, my friend. You forget BBQ'd, which I get rather tired of by this time. Nice to widen one's repertoire of dishes with the return of the oven and stove top options, and make the salad a side dish instead of main.

While I speak of temperatures and weather, you speak of teen trauma. Fall was my favourite season of the year when living on the prairies (how did weather and Indians come together anyway?). You may have noticed how nit-picky I am - not too hot, not too cold, raining only at night sort of thing. As for going back to those school days, I've never felt that desire, who does? But I do sometimes miss wonderful family times at the cottage by the river and forests, the birches and poplars ablaze in golds, bronzes and orange.... okay, okay, end of nostalgia (though what's wrong with that now and then as we get older?). I had a fairly happy childhood, actually a good life so far, even if I do sometimes get grumpy. I've always been visually sensitive to my surroundings and they inform my observations here and in my art.

Delicious, as was that piquant little exchange between BB and yourself!

I did a slow-cooked chicken last night. Mindful of electricity consumption, I've been trying to use the plug-in slow cooker rather than the oven as much as possible, but as the winter draws on ( and do you have your winter draws on? I went into proper pyjamas last night ans slept the better for it!) the lure of the oven will get stronger, even though as Tom says, it's a rather inefficient means of space heating. But it does smell so good... No fires yet, we're strict about that, not till late October.

What are you going to do with those green tomatoes?

Lucy, glad you enjoyed that exchange with our mutual friend, who does keep me on my toes :-)

I think we're fortunate in having comparatively reasonable electricity prices here so turning on the oven to warm the kitchen in this shoulder season isn't too bad. We try not to turn on our central home heating (natural gas) until at least mid to late October, instead using the fireplace only when needed. We've got a lot of wood just from trimming trees on our property.

Heh, had to google that rather English phrase 'winter draws on' ( it came up with 'draws in'), thinking you meant the coming of winter, but note with a smile the second meaning. Oh yes, I've graduated to a long sleeved nightie and a warmer duvet on some cooler nights. Yesterday though was a very warm day, wonderful for gardening and doing cuttings! Overnight we had another of those westcoast deluges and fog this morning.

The green tomatoes are slowly turning red (or yellow) for eating but I'm also going to make some green tomato mincemeat for our favourite Christmas trifle.