It looks like winter is upon us.
There is some melancholy in closing gardens and decks, but cozy moments are coming. The days are shorter and darker and, with Halloween now past, everything shifts. This week I offer not only my commentary, but a cozy recipe to help you embrace a new season.
There is a certain beauty to this transitional time of year. Although the early freeze robbed us of some of the colour, there was still a beautiful display in many places. My morning walk through the orchard has had an ethereal glow these past few weeks. The last few fruits hanging from the trees were like Christmas ornaments, shining in the morning sun.
The golden light along with the leaves in shades of yellow and orange transforms the field into a magical landscape where I am sure winter fairies and Christmas elves will be born in the coming months. The stillness I feel on a late autumn morning has a tranquility that is most calming. It is coupled with the expectation of winter’s magic soon to come.
Perhaps Mother Nature offers all these signs to ready us for the colder, darker season of winter. Don’t you feel that autumn is the signal to slow down and snuggle up for winter?
We put up preserves and stock up the wood for the fireplace, we cover up the plants and bring out the blankets to prepare for the cold winds. While Hallowe’en is a celebration of the creatures from the darkest part of night, Christmas and its fellow winter holidays like Hanukkah are celebrations of light.
Although in many ways we are at the end of a season, we look forward to positive things for the winter and we continue to celebrate life. I believe that to be an excellent survival mechanism, and certainly the best attitude to have.
I am making my preparations to switch gears:
1. I made a big pot of apple and pear compote to last through the winter because local fruits will soon be gone.
2. I dried my mint, lavender and other herbs for tea and cozy stews we will enjoy.
3. I pulled out my most colourful scarf and mittens so I can herald in the colder season with a smile, embracing the season with all my heart.
In case you’re stuck on how to embrace the tradition, here’s one of my favourite recipes to warm the cockles of your heart. It’s the perfect end to a hearty meal like stew or roast.
Lemon Souffle Pudding
This dish miraculously turns into a soufflé-type cake, floating on top of a lemon pudding.
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp flour
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp melted butter
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2/3 cup lemon juice
6 eggs, separated (TIP: egg whites will have more volume when beaten if they are at room temperature)
3 cups milk
Blend sugar, flour, salt, butter, lemon juice and rind in a medium bowl.
Beat yolks well, add milk and mix. Add flour mixture gradually, stirring well.
Beat egg whites till stiffly beaten.
Fold in egg whites. Pour mixture into greased baking dish (a bowl shape works well, or custard cups can be used). Place dish in shallow pan of warm water.
Bake in oven at 350 F for 45 minutes.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.