I can’t wait for fall. These hot, humid days – I’m done with them. I can’t wait to smell and see the leaves changing and falling, coating the ground. It’s one of the true joys of living in Pennsylvania. The foliage, right? I’ll go one further and say that it’s the entire spirit that surrounds the foliage. The whole season is full of good feelings. Everything dying, or going to sleep, but people become more alive. I was reading Ryan Marshall’s blog a couple days ago and he was talking about Kinfolk Magazine, their manifesto being,
“Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love.
Every element of Kinfolk – the features, photography, and general aesthetics – are consistent with the way we feel entertaining should be: simple, uncomplicated, and less contrived. Kinfolk is the marriage of our appreciation for art and design and our love for spending time with family and friends.”
I immediately thought of autumn. Of making boeuf bournignon for my birthday with my mom, of piling into a car to the orchard, of taking refuge with friends over coffee, of hiking in Valley Forge…
There is nothing like entering Valley Forge park with family and friends on a chilly fall day, full of conversation and then losing the need for conversation by the time we reach the top of Mount Joy. Everyone’s faces are cherry red, we’re all breathing a little heavier, and the crunch of leaves fills the void. It’s a beautiful place. We’re all silent, we’re all connected. Like Kinfolk’s manifesto says, these small gatherings are energizing. It’s unlike any other gathering. There are no words.
I took some photos of my gardening endeavors the week before I left for Iowa, but in the week that I’ve been gone the tomatoes are turning red faster than we can eat them, the poblanos are getting bigger and more plenty, the green beans are maturing, and the herbs are filling in. No longer are we in the days of going without homegrown basil because the amount for my recipe would kill the plant. I’m looking forward to tomatoes and basil with mozzarella, olive oil, salt and pepper. I can’t wait to try stuffing poblano peppers with some sort of soft cheese. The green beans are destined to cohabit with caramelized onions. I see a tall mojito with fresh spearmint, thyme with lork poin, cilantro in pico de gallo, parsley with potatoes. I anxiously await the verdict on the first tomatillo, which has tripled in size since I left. However please pray/burn sage/bribe someone for the sake of my chives.
Okay, notice how these raspberries are not the big, mushy, furry ones from the grocery. We have wild raspberry bushes near us so my brothers and I, every July, go out with a giant bowl and forage as many berries as we can reach. They last about an hour, only because I make an effort to make them last. I love passing those bushes on the way to work in the morning and grab a handful to munch on these small, tart jewels. Neighborhood kids sometimes ask us why we’re picking them, because they believe them to be poisonous. Even Mike was apprehensive about them the first time he picked them with us. It seems that many people are uncomfortable with picking their own food and especially with foraging for it. I have to admit though, I secretly want to tell the kids that the berries are poisonous and we use them to make poison. Gotta product the source, ya know?
P.S. No pics of tomatillos, tomatoes, or peppers because it started raining again. Next time!