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Verses from my Kitchen: September 2011

September 28, 2011

Chocolate & Bourbon Pudding with Sea Salt & Crushed Pistachio

It's been going on like this for a long time now. Since I was young I've had this thing for chocolate. Anything with chocolate. It's my kryptonite. It brings me down every single time. To my knees. And it started way back...with a pudding.

I couldn't have been more than eight or so. I grew up on a major street in Toronto merely blocks from anything of significance. At that age, that meant just a couple of things. Hardly significant. There was school, my friends, the corner store and the local diner. That diner.
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September 25, 2011

Sweetcorn & Bacon Soup

It's official. Fall has arrived. Fully, completely. The next warm, sunny day will be looked upon as an anomaly, a beautiful welcome surprise in the midst of fall's grand beginning. The real face of fall is showing herself outside and she's cold and dull and the rain we come to expect has been coming down all day and night.

Living in Canada, we're blessed to have four distinct seasons. So when summer slowly disappears, I'm ready for something different. Different colours and shades, weather, food and appreciations. The start of autumn has led me back into the memory banks from last year and previous years and all those wonderful things I love about the season. This season.
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September 19, 2011

Squash, Sage & Apple Soup plus an Autumn Loaf


It has turned quickly. The last of one season is all but forgotten as the cool September showers and moody sky have drifted in. The characteristics that define summer's glory has been washed away with the colours of autumn and rainfall that keeps us locked inside our warm, comfortable homes. It's the beginning of an end. And the start of something both beautiful and charming.

Like the seasons before us, life also undertakes a change this time of year. Old habits and routines undergo a metamorphosis as we adapt to the weather and landscape outside. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. And after a summer of occasional youthfulness and time away, we get back to what real life has waiting for us.

It's hard. That's what makes it real.

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September 14, 2011

{Cocktail} The Shucks Deluxe

It almost slipped through my fingers. Gone. The last week or so has been met with a chorus for change. Out with summer, in with autumn. After a summer filled with glorious weather and bright streaming sunshine, the first crack of fall sent a cool breeze and soft morning light into our lives. And then it came again. And again.

Fall was at our doorstep, and it was pushing summer into the rear view mirror. Like many people, I was waiting with open arms. Anticipating the new colours, cooler temperatures and an evening by the fireplace. Not so fast. Not yet. Temperatures that mimic mid-July have crept right back in and have caused the love affair for fall to be put on hiatus. For a short while.
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September 11, 2011

Farfalle Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage

I've lost track of time lately. One week surely and slowly bleeds into another. My life has begun to mimic a carousel, with each day turning from light to dark in a blur and repeating. Again and again. Weekdays linger longer and weekends go out like a match. Quick and extinguished. Gone. The transformation has been subtle yet, after a deep breath, when I look up everything seems different.  

If it were not for the temperature shifts and flickering colour changes, I'd have forgotten we were in the midst of fall's glorious introduction. She's tempting us with what's to come. And, finally, I have time to soak it all up. Breathe. Enjoy it.

Between work pulling in every direction and weekends filled with weddings or families or shoots of one kind or another, there has yet to be a real chance to inhale. And exhale. Until this week. Finally. The frenetic pace has weakened and we can finally see the end in sight. It`s appropriate that we take time to relax. And enjoy.

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September 6, 2011

Baked Macaroni Cheese

I remember back. I do that often. And right now as I sit here listening to the kids on the street play under the last of the shining cool light, I hear something that was once familiar but has disappeared as of late. The call to come in because they have school tomorrow. And, at that very moment, I remember my youthful days and a moment like this.

When I was out for summer all those years ago I always kept my eye on that one date in early September that signified the return date for school. For the first few weeks of holidays I ignored it altogether. But as those days turned into weeks and fell off the calender and by the wayside, I began to pay closer attention. And then, like a shot from the dark, school was back.
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September 2, 2011

A Tartlet and The Decline of Summer (Almost)

This is it. The stark contrast of blazing red hues stream across the soft pale blue sky. It's mid-evening and the sun is dancing downwards, one fading step at a time. As I sit here writing this I notice myself moving to the spot where the cool early September breeze flows through. I open the window a bit more and catch a glimpse of autumn's audition. And it's beautiful.

I've noticed her soft decline these past few days and evenings. The sun resets earlier than the day before, the warm late evenings have been replaced with a soft chill, perfect for a warm tea and bite of dessert. Even the mornings are different, better. Her wardrobe has changed, her appearance altered. This is the end of summer. Almost.

This morning we woke up and stared at the light fog outside. Even from the confines of our house we could feel the difference without stepping outside. It was grey and muted. Nothing vibrant left, albeit a splash of green that weaves its way through the neighbourhood. This was the moment we've been waiting for. Out favourite moment, the best of seasons.
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