Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cafe Writing Seven Things

[Cafe Writing is back with more prompts and one of them is to describe seven tastes or scents that define autumn to me. I warn you not to read it if you are hungry!]

1. homemade donuts
I haven't yet put the story in my blog, but when I was a kid I used to get a hankerin' for homemade donuts around about August. It was always too hot to put a pot of hot oil on the stove to deep-fry them, so Grandma and my great-aunt always made us wait until it cooled off. The first cool weekend, when we went over on a Saturday or Sunday, there would be homemade donuts rising underneath tea towels on the counter. We'd fry them up and glaze them and eat way too many. They were worth the wait.

2. a crisp apple eaten right in the orchard
I love "sweater weather." And a day when I can put on one thin extra layer, and go out into an orchard under a clear blue sky with a bag lunch and an empty container to fill with apples - (sigh) is a delight. We'd usually get one or two pecks (four pecks make a bushel) of several kinds. The orchard where we go uses no pesticides and they have several varieties with overlapping seasons. One of the first things is to pick a perfect one on the small side - maybe a Macoun, or a McIntosh, or a Cortland. Then it gets polished on my sleeve or shirt-tail. And I crunch into it and try not to be a total slob about the juice. Mmm.

3. honey
For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, it is tradition to start with something sweet. One tradition is to dip apple slices into honey. Another is to eat honey cake. I have a ton of recipes for honey cake, and there are many different styles. And they all taste like fall to me.

4. apple cider
I have nothing against apple juice at other times of the year. But the only kind of fresh (not fermented) apple cider I can get in the grocery store these days is pasturized. I love it when I can find an orchard to sell me unpasturized apple cider. It tastes fresher. And if you leave it just a little too long, it starts fermenting, with tiny little bubbles that make it "spritzig."

5. blueberry pie
I know that blueberries are a summer fruit, not normally associated with autumn. But my dad loved blueberries. He preferred blueberry pie or cobbler to a birthday cake and his birthday was in early October. I taste his fall birthday when I have blueberry pie. Especially when it has vanilla ice cream on top.

6. candy corn
I don't love candy corn, but it is ok. I almost never buy it in the store for myself. And most times of the year, I can pass it up. But something about October makes me dip into the candy dish of artificially colored, artificial-tasting wedges of tooth-rotting sweetness. I remember eating it at my grandma's house, nibbling off the tiny white tip first, then biting off the orange middle part, leaving the stubby yellow base for last. The ones you can find now with a chocolate layer are just wrong. And I seem to remember my college roommate taking me to the candy store in her hometown, just to get fresh candy corn. I must say that the nuances were wasted on me. But then, I didn't turn it down either.

7. pumpkin pie
Just as my dad preferred pie to birthday cake, my mom's favorite birthday treat is pumpkin pie. She, too, has a fall birthday (albeit much later in the season). I like pumpkin pie enough I sometimes have a slice for breakfast. Usually eaten out of hand - no need to dirty up a fork and plate.

The only problem with this list is now I'm hungry!


Janet said...

mmmm, all those things are delish and make me think of fall, too. In fact, I just bought some homemade honey from a guy in Carlisle that sets his stock out by the side of the road and the money? Goes into an old cigar box. LOVE it!

sister AE said...

Hi, Janet. I love old-fashioned farm-stand setups and honor-system tables. And local honey -- good for you!

MissMeliss said...

Oh, sweater weather and apples eaten in orchards remind me of going to apple festivals in New Jersey as a young child.

Thank you for the memories, as well as for your participation.

sister AE said...

Hi, Melissa. You are more than welcome. Thanks for the prompts!