Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cook vs. Wool

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. -- George Eliot
I like autumn. I like the word autumn... I like it better than "fall." Autumn is a tall, slender woman with soft, dark brown hair and green eyes who walks through the forest and runs her fingers through the leaves to change their colours and rustle them loose. She chills the air at night so you can sleep with the windows closed, and snuggle under the covers, and drink dark cups of tea in the mornings.

"Fall" is what happens when you trip.

I felt autumn today. I felt it when I woke up this morning... or rather, when I struggled to wake up this morning. I was feeling pretty groggy, and I had a slight sore throat, which was enough to ditch my Sunday run. I felt it when I went out for a walk instead... when I felt the sun on my face, lower in the sky than in the summertime, and when I felt the chill in the breeze as I walked on a newly discovered path, edged with trees on either side. I swung my arms back and forth at the same time and clapped my hands together as I walked along to keep my hands warm, and also because I live in an area where cougars and bears live alongside. It's best to make sure they know you're there.

It's best not to celebrate autumn by becoming someone's dinner.

And, since it's cooler outside, autumn also stirs me into action in the kitchen.

I made vegetable tarts on puff pastry with zucchini from the garden and with tomatoes from my coworker, with a layer of wholegrain mustard and caramelized onions, sprinkled with basil and thyme:

I made fresh pita, which smelled so good...

... that I'd already ripped pieces off to stuff into my mouth before I stopped to take this photo of my lunch: a yam, bell pepper, onion, and egg hash with a scoop of salsa on the side:

And after that, I made regular banana oatmeal snacks, two breakfast smoothies, and a lentil and spinach curry.

Autumn makes me busy, I guess.

And it also makes me fall in love with my yarn stash all over again, especially the warm wooly wools and the soft, fluffy alpaca blends. I'm still working on this skein of hand dyed alpaca yarn from Twist Yarns in Manhattan Beach, California. Every time I stop to look at it, I delight in the subtle colours of green, brown and red.

It's so beautiful that, even though I'm eager to get it finished, I'm almost relieved to see that I am only about halfway through the skein, and that I get to enjoy the feeling of it sliding through my fingers a little longer. You know it's good when you don't want it to end. 620 yards of delight. I've run many, many more yards than that, and I'm not sure I've enjoyed a distance quite so much as this one.

It's turning out to be quite wide, and I'm somewhat hopeful that I can turn it into a shrug somehow, just because I think I might wear it more often than if I left it as a rectangular stole. Even so, I am looking forward to feeling the softness along my arms, however it ends up:

Autumn is also a good time for me to catch up on movies and downloaded shows and podcasts, which are really just another excuse for me to sit down and knit. And what of it? After a long, hot, dry summer, I feel quite entitled to sink myself into a layer of soft, warm loveliness. And later this evening, I will...

Just as soon as I finish cooking the pork chops. And prepping the fish for tomorrow. And the potatoes.

Hmm, food vs. yarn. Not sure I wanna be in the middle of that battle...

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