Thursday, November 1, 2007

New Beginnings

It's the day after my favorite holiday, Halloween.

The kids are off to college, the hubby off to work, and the candy bowl, happily, empty.

I enjoy a quiet moment to myself. Me, Nora Jones and a Coke Zero. A time for reflection. A time for new beginnings. Autumn gets a bad rap. Summer is over, the crops are harvested, things are put away. Time to bed down, sit tight and wait for spring. For me, however, it is just the opposite. When the Sun is exactly above the Equator and day and night are of equal length, that's when I get going.

After months of stifling heat, I feel the urge to fling open the windows, get out the pots and pans, turn the oven on and make a mess. As a lover of bread and soup, the autumnal equinox marks the official beginning of cooking season for me. I enjoy autumn so much that I even had a child born on Halloween.

And, what a better way to celebrate a birthday and Halloween than with soup.

So yesterday, I took my soup-loving 19 year old daughter who is spending her first year at college, to one of our favorite little cafes where we both delighted in a very refined autumnal soup. A surprisingly light but spicy tomato broth with an array of vegetables including red peppers, broccoli and asparagus.  The most we've ever been impressed with plain ol' vegetable soup(!). I'm already craving it again. We topped it off with chocolate mousse birthday cake and my daughter returned to her dorm wearing her gift, a new pair of Frye boots, and I made the lonely drive home. Thus, my new beginning.

With both kids in college now, I am hoping to read, write and discover new recipes. The kids are home most weekends and quite a few evenings too. Always hungry. Always eager for a home cooked meal. The leaves on the maple tree have turned a brilliant red. Squash and pumpkins are in season. My favorite time of year is upon us. And I am looking forward to dusting off those underutilized cookbooks and trying some new recipes as well as some old favorites and sharing them with you. It's a celebration of Autumn, cooking, and new beginnings.

I can't wait.

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