The colors are probably my favorite. The light on a sunny fall day can take red, orange and yellow to the next level; and on rainy days, a small bouquet of seasonal flowers can brighten an entire room.
Another thing I like is the crisp fall weather. Not a big fan of the heat anymore, I actually breathe a sigh of relief when I can finally pull on a sweater again in the mornings to go walk the pup, after the summer is over. The rain doesn’t bother me much, because once it stops, the leaves look even more beautiful :-).
Knitwear is definitely a third reason for liking the fall. Be it scarves, knit hats or sweaters, not to mention hand made socks – I really love the hell out of a good knit :-).
And finally, there’s the seasonal fall foods: pumpkins, apples, pears, quince, plums, grapes, blackberries – and of course it’s also wild mushroom season. When I’m in the country, I always carry a mushroom knife and small bag when leaving the house, and I rarely come home from walking Charlie without a handful of those oddly fascinating and never less than delicious woodland creatures.
Wild mushrooms can give a flavor boost to just about any savory dish, and for a few weeks every year, they’re part of the menu almost every day, in this house. I add them to soups, stews, pasta dishes, risotto, stir-fries, chicken, scrambled eggs or simply as a yummy topping for pizza, grilled cheese or a sandwich.
The last image is what we had for dinner the other day.
Hokkaido, Chanterelles and Rice for Two
Half a small Hokkaido pumpkin, cubed (1 cm)
1 large shallot, cubed
3 handfuls Chanterelle mushrooms, cut in bits sized pieces
200 g rice, cooked with a little salt
Olive oil, knob of butter
5 sage leaves, cut into thin strips
Put on the pot of rice, then prep the vegetables and sage. Heat the oil in a large pan and add Hokkaido, mushrooms and the cubed shallot. Season with salt and pepper, put on a lid and let cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want a bit of texture, but not too much. Make sure you don’t overcook the pumpkin. The mixture should be moist enough from the water in the mushrooms and shallot. Add the sage and butter or, if you’d rather cook vegan, a bit more olive oil. When the rice is done, add to the vegetables, stir, check your seasoning, and enjoy!
Usually, the fall truly begins for me when we pack up our stuff and come out to the cottage for two weeks. We don’t always have time off, but the school kids do, and there’s always fun things to do out here – feeding the horses on the nearby field, mushroom picking, riding lessons, pumpkin carving, baking challenges, and having freshly smoked fish at the eatery on the lakefront. It’s not a fancy place, but the view is truly spectacular. A wonderful place for a sundowner. When I sit on the pier and gaze out at the water, soaking up the last rays of sunshine, it’s easy to feel like everything is alright with the world.
This year, both my husband and I do have work, but at a reasonable work-life ratio. Which is a good thing, because next week, there are two memorable events coming up. Our 20 years wedding anniversary, and our daughter’s birthday, both life-changing events that deserve commemorating. Let them have cake, right?
After a few way too busy weeks, I’ve picked up my knitting again. I made a pair of socks for my friend C., and a pair of pink, diagonally ribbed socks for myself. When finishing my own private re-run of Friends over the weekend, I got as far as the heel of the second sock, so I’ll be done with that pair soon.
As for my sweater project, started with a lot of motivation in August, and abandoned it when work got the better of me. I did bring it with me to the cottage, but haven’t really been in the right mindset, for it needs attention, and I haven’t got a lot of that left right now; my brain is officially fried after a wild ride of about 500 pages in a matter of weeks. I do NOT recommend this.
The other day, my friend I. asked me for an estimate of how many pairs of socks I had ever made. It’s not easy to say, as I didn’t knit a lot after the first couple enthusiastic years of learning. Not sure if I knit at all during my 10 years of advertising. I really only became serious about crafts when I moved to Berlin in 2000, and I only began documenting my projects about 10 years ago when Apple gave me the great gift of inventing the iPhone. I know people feel the real revolution was the iPod, but for me, it’s definitely the having an uncomplicated, decent camera on me at all times that made all the difference… Back to the math. I probably made an average of 10 pairs per year, the last 20 years, maybe 250 pairs all in all – man, that’s a lot of socks! I can show you a few from the last couple of years:
Hopefully, I’ll be able to work on my sweater some more. It’s gotten chilly, and we’ve lit the woodburner:
And that’s why I love the fall :-). How about you? What season is your favorite? Any interesting crafts projects in your future … let me know. And thank you for reading!