Fall is a time to reevaluate; to slow down and take stock in what you have. Perhaps even plan for what you need. If there is a rhythm to all seasons, then Fall seems to capture the downbeat. Nature teaches us how to become more deliberate in our lives as the Minnesota winter approaches. We may slow down our driving so we don’t hit a rutting dear. We may linger a bit longer in the woods as we chop and stack firewood for winter heat. We dig up dead plants, weeds, and potatoes. Experience teaches you to dig potatoes carefully. You can’t just plunge the pitchfork into the ground like a dagger, you need to look at where your vines are, even anticipate where your potatoes are buried. It almost sounds Zen. “Be the potato, Be the potato!” Reflecting is in our nature this time of year, even as we take stock of the everyday chore of eating.
Meals become a bit more luxurious. The excitement of firing up the grill is starting to wane, and we are now looking at our stock pots and slow cookers once again. The bread pans that have been in the bottom of the cupboard for months come out into the sunlight, waiting for fresh dough to cling to their sides. I was reading a magazine last weekend while I was waiting for a friend, and it had a remarkable recipe for an African Peanut Stew. Great root vegetables were diced up in cubes; parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, carrots, onions and, of course, potato. I found myself searching hastily around for a pen, trying to scribble the entire thing on the back of my checkbook ledger. I considered the larcenous act of ripping up the magazine, but there were too many people watching. I scribbled madly, every ingredient, direction, and description, and plunged the checkbook deep into my bag. I was so excited. I knew that I was going to make this stew as soon as I could. That evening I dug out the checkbook from the bottom of my backpack. Giddy as a small child telling a joke, I began to read the list of necessities needed to make, what I knew, would invariably win me a place on Top Chef.
My had writing was completely illegible. I could make out vague images that could have been numbers, but the majority of it was not recognizable as English. I had moved too fast. I hadn’t listened to the rhythm of Fall.
So here I am, still trying to decipher what promises to be a great recipe for a stew. I have access to most of the ingredients so I promise as soon as I can figure out what 2 cpss of dished ratbells are, I will post the recipe.
Enjoy the coolness of Fall. Embrace the digging of you gardens. Plow though the cleaning of your gutters. This is the time we spend preparing for Winter’s lustful howl. Face each moment with a good friends hand, and a well-worn wool sweater.
But remember to listen to the rhythm of Fall.
Because if you don’t, it may just beat you!