It’s weird to think that just a few weeks ago, our daily temperatures called for shorts and short sleeves. Some years it feels as though fall creeps in so quietly; a clear day in the seventies calmly slipping in between the humid mid-eighties, a handful of sixty degree days peppered through weeks of the seventies. Before we know it, we’ve seamlessly slid into autumn. This year has felt different. Summer’s heat and humidity burned long and hard, well into this month of September, before finally shrugging its shoulders and turning to go home. One day the northeast awoke to temperatures that call for sweaters, soft kisses of frost on the ground, and September’s velvety green fading into soft oranges, reds, and yellows. Driving through the back roads of our sleepy little state, I see wood smoke curling out of chimneys, unfolding into the morning air.
As our earth gently pivots us further away from the sun, my senses drink it in greedily. The smell of leaves, a richly beautiful decomposition of the season, the unusual yet expected transition of leaves, jumping around the color wheel as though there’s no rhyme or reason, the rustling of trees against the wind, visually showing evidence of an invisible force. Crackling fires, the hum of groggy furnaces, kitchens that smell of cozy comfort foods, hot mugs of warmth cupped in cold hands, blankets and sleeping weather and the return of a favorite knitted hat. Suddenly we find ourselves sprinkling cinnamon on this and that, no need to excuse or explain ourselves.
It is in these increasingly shorter days where I find myself most longingly drawn into the kitchen. Pumpkin pancakes seem to appear out of thin air. Dishes of all things cheesy, gooey, savory and warming suddenly show up on our dinner table. With that same baited anticipation that has me craving green things in March and tomatoes in July, I find myself opening my CSA boxes with excited hopes of leeks, potatoes, turnips, and squash. Basil and cilantro are increasingly forgotten as my hands wrap themselves around little glass bottles of sage and rosemary.
As a mindful seasonal eater, I am grateful for the abundance of summer that has nourished us through the season. Salted tomatoes, crisp peppers, refreshing cucumbers. I’ll dutifully use the last of summer’s offerings, sprinkling in touches of fall, saying goodbye to one season as we welcome another. In this way, that seamless transition of seasons will take shape in my own kitchen, knitting us closer to the natural world around us, nourishing our bodies with the rhythm of space and time.
With just a handful of weeks left in summer session CSA, I invite you to join me in hungrily planning your fall and winter fare. There are still shares left - how will you embrace the nourishment this season offers?