In a matter of one week, we’ve gone from summer ending, to full autumn. I know it’s here when I can smell it. Of course the 1”- 2” of rain we had here in Sonoma County a few days ago helped to give the seasonal nudge.
Last Sunday morning, a warm breeze scattered a delicate golden layer of Honey Locust–Gleditsia triacanthos leaves around my feet as I stood in my back yard, picking a basket of Conadria figs-Ficus carica conadria in preparation for a Birthday celebration for Jess. The oak trees had a hint of rust and bronze, but otherwise it looked & smelled like summer.
That afternoon Tim, Jess & I took Winston & Stella (the hounds) on a walk up the road to pick perfectly ripe Bartlett pears for dessert. It was still warm enough to walk in shorts and flip-flops.
That night as we ate and drank to Jess, we all acknowledged the end of summer, and our excitement to welcome the beginning of fall. Sleeping in, warm clothes, fireside rainy days, and hot toddies, making soup, movie days, reading and the holidays!
Our incredible Harvest menu: A fall-apart pot roast http://ow.ly/BJ0OS from beef harvested just one ridge over at Flying W Ranch http://ow.ly/BJ0UD, Blue Lake green beans picked that day from my garden with homemade pesto made by my friends Ollie & Kiera, Rosemary & olive oil roasted golden potatoes, fresh salad, and of course the figs!
Fresh grilled figs on Rosemary skewers with a lemon honey glaze.
Dessert is always an adventure and a welcome challenge as Jess is Gluten, all grain, sugar, and dairy free ;) What I found in my go-to recipe blog - Smitten Kitchen - was delicious, easy and didn’t feel lacking being dough, sugar & milk free. http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/12/vanilla-roasted-pears/
We were also lucky enough to enjoy a bottle of local Fort Ross-Seaview AVA member Fort Ross Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir http://www.fortrossvineyard.com/
Fall is always a time of introspection for me and I think for many. It’s a season full of change; it can bring up the past, bring up emotions and for me a deep almost primal need to leave, to travel. I think I must have been a migratory bird in a past life…
The smell of wet moss and Douglas fir remind me of the holidays, and friends & family I’ve lost.
But for the night, I am supremely happy. Surrounded by friends so dear they are my family. I will make comfort foods, dry more figs, can a batch of spiced fig chutney and a batch of ginger pears in simple syrup and enjoy the wonderful, wonderful rain.