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Happy-Gourmand

The light within

 

The last week or so, walking the dogs in the morning has been an ethereal experience. 

With the sun rising later, we are often out just as dawn breaks, and with the first streams of light coming over the hills and across the lake, it seems to magically bring to life everything in the orchard. It is as though fairies dust the trees to make the leaves sparkle in every hue from yellow to red, and the green grass seems to glow. The fruit still clinging to the branches of the trees hang like luminous Christmas ornaments, and the animals have a lustre to their fur that gives them a royal air.

I love autumn, when the colours change and everything seems to be lit from within. I breathe more deeply on autumn mornings, trying to inhale some of that magic and keep it with me. I love that all creatures seem to move proudly and with purpose at this time of year. They have a plan, and they are keen to stick to it so that they will be prepared for winter. 

The plants make a gracious stage exit from the scene in fall, claiming centre stage with their glorious colours and gradual decline. Even my drying sunflowers in the garden retain some majesty as they sway in the wind and provide sustenance for the hard-working birds.

The one thing I have begun to wonder about as I get older is the lack of insight we humans seem to have, despite nature’s constant reminders that everything is connected. Sure, we pull out our seasonal clothes as a gesture to recognize the change in seasons, but do we stop to enjoy what each season represents, and appreciate what each offers? 

Nowadays it is easy to separate ourselves from the world around us – we can eat pineapple in the winter as easily as apples. I suppose you could argue that birds fly south, so why can’t we? I am not trying to say we should take winter on as punishment or retribution, but I do think that stopping to enjoy a crisp BC apple or baking some local squash can give you a moment of reflection and appreciation for our own corner of the world. That is where the magic light I spoke of comes from.

So, hopefully you have time to take in one of the last days at the local farmer’s markets or fruit stands. If you can’t make it to those events, take a walk through a park or lead your dog along the paths to enjoy the leaves. Maybe you’ll have time to make a pile of leaves to jump in with the kids. I am sure you will see a special light from them when you see the smiles, from an activity so seasonal, so fun, so frivolous.

Or, pick up some local apples and do some baking. Put the kids to work before they go back to their TV or video games and leave you alone in the kitchen. Apple Cobbler is so simple to make, you can have your kids do it while you sit back with a glass of wine and watch so that they don’t set the kitchen on fire.

 

APPLE COBBLER

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

8 apples (Macintosh, Honeycrisp, and Golden Delicious are all great baking apples)
1/2  cup brown sugar
1/4 lb butter
touch cinnamon
touch of nutmeg

Batter

2 cups flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
touch of vanilla
pinch salt

Peel and slice apples, put in 8 inch square pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and bake for 10 minutes at 400F. Take out and let rest 10 minutes. 

Prepare batter with flour, egg, sugar, milk, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Pour over apples. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature . . . with ice cream or whipped cream if you feel the urge. :)



More Happy Gourmand articles

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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