Autumn is always a mixed bag for me. I feel cheated by the cold air and white cover. After summer, I need blue skies and sun to be happy, or, at least, I need to ease out of my sunshine addiction and fall is never good about politely laying off. But then, there's the food! The tomatoes, so many squash and so little time! The return to cooking warm comfort food is one of my favorite events of the year.
For the last several years, I've made it a habit of getting fat and happy over the summer (I blame BBQ season). You'd think that when autumn arrives, bringing chilly weather, bulkier clothes, and an excuse to make rich warm dishes, the trend would continue until spring.
But fall also tends to brings other things. It also brings the ripeness of the healthier food, the beginning of soup season, and, for me, it seems to always bring stress due to the beginning of something new in my life. So, despite my love for autumn food, I generally lose the summer padding while coping with the inevitable newness and weather of October.
In October of 2000, I started dating E which was wonderful and scary and exciting at the same time. In October of 2001, I decided to take the LSAT and go to law school. In 2002, it was October when I began the house hunt with E that eventually resulted in us becoming co-home-owners. In 2003, it was October when the reality of 1L hit me and I fully understood the impact of my decision to go to law school. In 2004, it was October when I stretched myself to the extreme with a full load of classes, OCI, journal, and a moot court competition in another state. In 2005, it was October when I struggled and finally made a decision about my future as a lawyer.
And here I am again. October 2006. The blues. Depression and the reality of my father's death are finally with me. I kept them at bay by keeping busy until I started work. But with the reality of work came many surprises, and now the sunny weather is gone. So, in keeping with the October theme, I'm in a new spot yet again: new career, and new emotions of loss. The sky looks like it wants to rain today, and I can relate because I am busy, overwhelmed, and sad.
So, to stave off the bad part of October, I went to the farmer's market this morning. I hadn't been in at least 9 months and didn't know it had been moved down the street. I almost cried when I drove by the parking lot where it used to be and saw only cars. With the help of the signs, I found the market and was delighted to find it bigger and better than before. I smiled and made a goofy grin as I walked amongst the gorgeous potatoes, roots, and roughage. I was saddened that there is not enough time to cook with all the wonderful foods that I saw before they will be out of season.
I bought butternut squash, 7 breeds of heirloom tomatoes, italian broccoli, and gorgeous flowers. And my simple visit to the market did the trick. I came home happy, thankful for good food and ready to face this week of October, which, no doubt will be difficult. Thank goodness for fall harvest and the healing power of soup.