Monday, November 2, 2015

Turning Inward

I have a confession.  I love this time of year.  I love setting the clocks back an hour.  I love calling my children inside at dusk for baths and dinner - rather than having to call them inside while the sun is still up.  I love the extra darkness.  The draw towards cozy blankets, candlelight, and comfort foods.  I love the cooler temperatures, the need to draw inward - into our homes, into the comfort of family and friends. 

We spend so much of our time outside in the warmer months.  Around this time of year I start to get the itch for cold weather.  I relish the cooler temperatures and a new found desire to spend time indoors.  Long forgotten toys resurface - all the toys and hobbies I considered parting with suddenly find new life in our home. 

Soup returns to our weekly menu.  Monday is soup day in our house.  After months of salads for dinner on Mondays, soup is a welcome change.  This time of year leaves me longing to be a better gardener next year, so I can feel the shift in our diet that much more.  I long for the days when I will be a proficient enough that our diet in the warmer months will consist of mostly produce we grew ourselves.  I romanticize about shifting from fresh food we grew, to stored/preserved food we grew.

And perhaps one of the coziest ways for me to welcome this season is with a renewed love for baking.  It is this time of year that I get back to bread baking - forgetting it's not that I've given up baking for good, just for a the summer season.  There is something so nostalgic about the smell of the molasses and sprinkle of cinnamon, the yeasty smell while kneading and the rising, and the mouth watering aroma of baking bread.  And yet, as much as I love it, I just can't get excited about it in the summer.

I've been baking bread for four years now.  Every time I make my "tried and true" weekly bread, I reminisce on the hectic season our family was in when I first starting making bread for us.  I was just beginning my first (failed) attempt at graduate school, the kids were both toddlers, and we were in the midst of learning how to make and eat real food.  I remember the dim light of the kitchen in the evening as I finally made my first successful loaves of bread.  I would get so frustrated with how small that kitchen was, but now thanks to the filter of time, I enjoy thinking back on how busy that little space was and all the love that flowed from it.

So, as the days grow shorter and the temperatures grow cooler (soon, hopefully!), I hope you too find excitement in the warm comforts of this time of year.