Fall Feels

There is something so nostalgic and delicious about fall. Warm meets cold-the juxtaposition is everywhere. From the golden, firey hues in the trees amongst the cold snap in the air and the magical light cast before end of day which is clipping in closer to the afternoon hour more and more with each passing month…
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I love going to the apple orchard right before it’s too late. The trees are a bit scraggly and its colder and less family fun friendly but I love it. It’s more of a challenge as I peek and pear through apple tree rows and grab the remaining happy apples off the branches and also crouch to the ground to rescue those that have fallen, having reached their perfect ripeness and are so bright and vibrant against the leaf covered ground. I almost feel more gratification in hunting down these tiny gems than plucking a shining-apple-star from the tree. I guess I have a thing for food misfits.

I also found a healthy bounty of purslane at the base of a witchy looking tree (laden with deep red-purple apples and intertwined with the black heads of past summer flowers) which I started picking away at to rinse and take home to chop up for salads or saute with other greens. A fresh, succulent/aloe vera tasting weed which is a plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.
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Raspberries seemed to be quite abundant this year and also doing well much longer than I anticipated-I was pleasantly surprised to find these little beauties still clinging on. Such delicate, precious jewels autumnal raspberries are.
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On the way back from this adventure, I spotted an autumn olive branch dripping with berries on the route home. Pulled over, I’m stripping the branches like there’s no tomorrow and end up with almost 10 pounds it seemed (a soup pot full to be exact…). To those who honked-do you love autumn olives too?

With that loot I made a tasty cinnamon, vanilla bean, autumn olive jam. At first I thought I could keep the seeds and pulp in (since eating the berry whole, I didn’t mind the fibrous matter) but it proved to be unpalatable when all simmered down. That lead me to then strain through a sieve and start over. No big deal because the end product is just as I’d hope. The color is so opaque it reminds me of a hue you’d find at a makeup counter rather than in nature.
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There is nothing like the light of the fall season. I feel a slight sense of overwhelm and panic in the September-November months as each day goes by; I worry I’m not seizing enough, drinking enough of the colors in or breathing that sweet fallen leaf/plant passing on aroma. With the end of the season, I know, I will also feel another wave of excitement in embracing the changes of winter. Of bundling up against fire and tucking in to velvety meals and imbibing what makes your core feel warm and whole. Best of all, sharing this all with people you love. The abundance of the fall  invigorates and inspires so I’m setting the intention to stock up on the riches of these days to call upon in the coming cold days.
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