This line from the old Cat Stevens song that has come up on the shuffle is fitting for today. While we are fortunate to experience the change of four seasons in Nebraska, the one that always feels the most significant to me is fall. This year, it came all at once, in one day, two weeks ago, when the temperature shifted about 20 degrees and has stayed mild since.
This season change is such a beautful time of year. The contrasts are starker, the colors more vivid. The leaves, the pumpkins, the jars of red tomatoes are all signals that nature is ready for her rest and slumber, but will not retire without a display of brilliance one last time.
I used to complain about the fall, not because I didn’t like it, but because of what was soon to follow; yes, winter. But in taking a lesson from Mother Nature, without a season of dormancy, she would not get her rest either. This year, I am taking a different approach.
Mother Nature does not need to be taught about sustainability. She sustains herself quite fine without our help. In her modesty, she knows how to clothe herself when a patch of her ground becomes bare. We call them weeds; she treats them as organic textiles, shading herself from the sun, preventing erosion and offering patterns and color so unique, we forget its brilliance. Even King Solomon himself was not dressed in such splendor.
For me personally, the change of season means a time to reel in, slow down and recover from a long market season. Gone will be the Market Meals, The Sunday Brunch and the intensity of attention that those require every week. Soon our outdoor patio will be closed off due to colder temperatures. These are elements of the season I love and will certainly miss, but they give way to a new kind of enjoyment.
The change of the season brings more rest, more reflection and more slow cooking. I can almost smell the warmth of our Steak & Ale Pie simmering on the back of the stove. Our French Onion soup, such a simple, humble dish of onions and water, requires hours of low heat, but is not without its reward for such patience. The Smoked Meatloaf will be back, with its aroma of smoldering hickory embedded within.
Soon we will go back to two daily, scratch made soups. (Is there a more comforting winter meal than soup and bread?) These are only a few of the items that will show up again with the change of the season.
Did I mention the Jerk Pork and the Pastrami Sammich? Yea, those too.
Yes, I feel the changes coming, and I like what I see. If you feel the blues coming on, make a stop in sometime for our new menu items. They don’t call it comfort food for nothing.