I’m trying to deny that fall is here. Not because I hate fall, but because I love fall and want to savour all the season slowly. The calendar has other plans, though.
I was just outside and I heard, very faintly, the “chirrrr-chirrr-chirrr” of migrating Sandhill Cranes. That’s a fall sound, for sure. They’re coming down from the north, gathering in the area where it’s a little warmer, practicing formation flying and checking in with their buddies before they all head farther south for the winter. I looked around and finally spotted a group of seven birds, high up over the TRU campus.
Savouring the season takes many forms. I love hearing the Sandhill Cranes. I like seeing the hillsides at the farm slowly turn colours, and I dearly love cold crisp clear mornings as the Sun just peeks over the Sullivan Range to the east. It’s a season when the cookstove gets lit again, stoked with dry alder or maple, warming the whole house and giving off wonderful smells of food and just a hint of woodsmoke in the kitchen.
In the spirit of the season, last night’s supper just kind of happened — like a fall day when you suddenly find yourself with free time to go kick a pile of leaves or walk in the woods. Penny noticed some Shaggy Mane mushrooms growing in the garden, so she picked a basket of them. Shaggy Manes also grow wild on campus and in town, so make sure you know what they look like and go harvest some free wild food. (Don’t take all you find in any one spot. Leave at least half.)
She also picked some dry Borlotti beans off the bean trellis, and cooked them up in some boiling water while she was cleaning and marinating the mushrooms. She melted some butter in a skillet, and added the mushrooms with some of the marinade. I made pasta and we plated up beans and mushrooms in a garlic-butter sauce on a bed of spaghettini.
Totally spontaneous, totally fresh, picked within 200 metres of the kitchen. A wonderful simple fall supper with a dry white wine (for her) and a Belgian ale (for me). Dessert was pears from our orchard.
I hope you all have the chance to savour a great autumn meal, with a loved one or good friends. Cheers!