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Posts Tagged ‘pumpkins’

The other day Anna and I were talking about how our “food calendar” changes over time. I had noticed a sudden desire for baked foods and carbohydrates. In the summer, Anna recalled, all we wanted to eat was salad. “Remember how in July I didn’t even want to eat chocolate?” she asked.

That stopped us both short.

But it’s true that, as winter approaches, my food associations change. I am the kind of person who can be almost religious about my eating habits. I recently went to eat WooDaddy Waffles at Moynihan’s Irish Pub in Worcester and it took some real mental gymnastics to accept the idea of a Falafel Waffle or a waffle pizza. (Good thing I did – they were delicious.) It’s not that I’m not adventurous. But I take real comfort in foods that are perfectly suited to the time of day or the time of year. Apple pies in October. Strawberries in July.

And one of the best things about the approach of winter is that the end of the fall is perfectly aligned with the most delicious kind of baked goods. I don’t know if it’s some sort of innate preparation for hibernation, or whether it’s a cultural association with Thanksgiving dinners and the dearth of fresh vegetables. But it’s true that, if I happen to being slipping into a late-fall depression, all it takes is a mug of hot apple cider and a slice of pumpkin bread to get me on my feet again. Or a cranberry muffin. Slice of pumpkin pie. Hazelnut-chocolate torte. Apple strudel.

(Yes, donations are welcome.)

Anyway, this week I indulged my cravings by baking a whole bunch of new things, the best of which was this ridiculously delicious yeasted pumpkin bread. The recipe made enough to last me a couple of weeks. I’m hoping there will be some left to boost up my spirit when the first snow arrives.

Weather: 52 degrees and cloudy

Mood:

Hannah: 5, I’m feeling a bit under the weather.

Anna: 7, she has some fun, engaging projects at work today.

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In my first post, I discussed how October can leave me feeling excited and agitated. I plan, I commit to various activities, and I keep myself wildly busy as the school year begins, even though it’s been years since my life has synched with the academic calendar.

Here’s another confession: I also “nest.”

I realize that “nesting” is a term that seems to be applied only to birds and pregnant women these days—categories into which I certainly don’t fit—but it’s exactly what I find myself doing come autumn.

You know those pumpkin-laden porches I mentioned before? Well, once I see them, I want to fill my own apartment with strange-looking dimpled gourds and squash. Last year, I managed to keep a few pumpkins on my windowsill through January. Magically, they didn’t rot.

I’m not one to seasonally decorate, so this impulse is an aberration of sorts. The coziness of autumnal color schemes, bowls of apples and squash, and the smell of pumpkin pie is too powerful for me to resist!

But artfully arranged displays of oddly-shaped vegetation is only the beginning. This is also the time of year when I “refresh” my apartment. I replace odd things, like bathmats, sheets, and toothbrush holders. I arrive home with bags of scented candles. And I go on mini DIY sprees. Last weekend, were friends to have stopped by, they would have found me wielding two paint brushes, touching up the walls.

So while on the one hand I go out of my way to participate in new things in the fall, I also try to make my home as comfortable as possible. A welcoming place filled with warm cheer. And of course, with seasonal fruit.

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