Here in Atlantic Canada, the month of August this year has felt more like late September than the second half of summer. We seemed to skip over the hot August nights and warm sunny days typically spent in and around the coastal waters that are very much a part of our souls in this part of Canada. Many conversations lately have focused on this unusual weather pattern. It has given us cause to skip ahead in our thoughts, turning attention (albeit prematurely) to the many delights that captivate our imaginations and taste buds in these waning days of summer. This has led me to ponder – What does fall taste like?
Being more of a foody than I care to admit, my memories of times and places usually equates to food. I love the distinct seasons that is part of life in Nova Scotia, especially the varietal feast of diverse tastes and textures that come with each season. With Fall rapidly closing in on us my thoughts turn to fresh preserves and the pickling parties that erupt in backyards across the country as friends and family gather the fruits of their summer harvest and meet around propane burners and pots simmering overtop the flames. I quite enjoy the wonderful aromas of cucumbers, onions and various pickling spices, rising on the waves of steam that escape from under the lids to excite our senses. I am instantly drawn back to my childhood with memories of family gatherings and pots of all sizes filled with preserves in the different stages of preparation, and mountains of mason jars waiting to be filled and stored on the shelves as they await their rightful place on the table surrounded by family, friends, sumptuous foods; and glasses filled with the fermented harvest of those who toil in the many great vineyards in this part of the country.
Fall is the culmination of all the best gastric delights gleaned from each of the seasons. It brings together the sweetness of the maples from early spring, the tenderness and freshness of the summer gardens, folds in the aromas of fresh baked breads, and rounds out the palate with the wonders encapsulated in the tiny blueberries; then presents it all around the warmth of the evening fire that reaches deep to comfort the soul. Fall brings family and friends together in a way that is unique to this time of year. We gather to work, play, lament the growing shortness of day, and wonder at the natural beauty of the changing colours on the hillsides that surround us. We linger in the warmth of the sun for as long as it lasts, then retreat indoors to continue the conversation around the fireplace sheltered from the coolness of night that is the signature of this time of year.
What does this season of the year taste like to you? If you have a fond memory or a taste sensation that would make this time of year incomplete in its absence, please comment so that we may all enjoy together the delights and memories of this season and celebrate the many ways it is embraced across the country.
*Image from Flickr’s Creative Commons