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My Blog

Comfort Foods and the Season

Good morning...Monday came so quickly this week.  Yesterday was a long but inspiring day for me.  The Grove Fest storytelling was wonderful.  Such an amazing crowd.  It started out as a really nice sunny day and about half way through the day, the clouds rolled over and the temperatures really dropped.  towards the end of the day I noticed some of the audience shivering and huddled together, so gave them my wraps and sweaters to help keep them warm.  They were such troopers and wanted to stay and hear the stories. 
I was quite pleased with the days event and look forward now the Spooky and Scary Tales.  If you are looking for adult only stories...I will be telling them at the Grove on October 19th.  You need to preregister though through the Glenview Park district soon.  Go to http://glenviewparks.org/index.php/facilities-parks/the-grove and scroll down to:
107048 - Spooky & Scary Tales
Join us for an evening of hayrides and scary stories to get you in the mood for Halloween. As the evening progresses, the stories will become more spooky and scary. Refreshments included.
Who: Ages Adult to Senior.
Well, today's blog is about Comfort Food.  I started to think about it yesterday when I had a bowl of pulled pork at the festival.  It seems to me that comfort foods never seem to be associated with summer foods. They are the foods that seem to be geared to the fall and winter times.  I looked at pumpkins and thought back on my Grandmother's Pumpkin Soup with homemade noodles, loaded up with bacon and onions and cream.  That was one of my favorite fall foods.  I know that soups for most people tend to be the foods made during these seasons.  I myself make soup all year long...in fact, I make soup at least once a week.  It doesn't matter whether it is 20 degrees or 90.  It is filling and comforting.  I imagine that today's trends lean towards more salads and such, but I guess old habits never change...and the fact that I cannot eat salad makes it that much easier for me to prepare other types of foods.  I thought about the fact of calling some foods comfort foods.   They just seem to warm and fill  you up.  When I thought about the Pumpkin Soup, I started to think about pumpkin slices as well.  Yesterday, they had taffy apples at the Fest.  I know that I can buy them every day of the week at the Affy Tapple Store near my home, but that is another food that is thought of when it comes to fall, along with Apple Cider.  I think that because of all the preservatives that are in foods these days, that we find these items rather easily in stores, but back when I was growing up...they were seasonal.  When I walked into the Kennicott home at the Grove yesterday, the aroma of delicious flavors filled the room.  They had been making apple fritters and maple syrup on the old wood  stove.  It reminded me of the days when my grandmother and I would make them.  I can remember peeling apples in the kitchen for what seemed like hours, and Grandma would can some up and we would chop the rest for pies, apple slices and fritters sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Oh my goodness, they were wonderful.  When I think of fall, I think of apples, pumpkins and corn.  I remember pomegranates way before they became the popular fruit.  I know that when I tell stories, one of the stories I enjoy sharing during this time of year is the story about Pomegranates.  It is a Greek myth about Persephone.  She was the reason for the seasons.  She was taken down to Hades and in the end, ate 3 pomegranate seeds and hence we were given the seasons.  It is a wonderful story and if you have never heard or read it, search it out.  Very interesting story.
There is something to be said about the aromas in the house when something has been cooking on the stove.  The way that the windows steam up when I am cooking soups and stews.  It makes you want to snuggle under a blanket, pull out and book and make a cup of tea.  Now a days, you can even have tea in a fall flavor like Carmel Apple or a wonderful aromatic Chai.  Life is a bit different today.  I must say, some the changes I enjoy, such as the flavored teas.  We have come a long way from the standard black and orange pekoe.  Perhaps these will be the comfort scents that will be the memories of the new generations.   Today, it seems to me that the average person is more intrigued with the scents of things rather than the tastes...but I think that it is because they don't have a yardstick to measure it by.   Me, I guess I am just an old fashioned girl...I still want the comfort foods. I would rather put fruit peels and cinnamon sticks and cloves and allspice in a pot on the stove for scenting the room rather than the chemical plug ins.  I know that for the modern generation, it is easier to do the latter...but it really isn't any easier.  I wish that they would stop and think about the chemicals they are putting into their homes and their bodies.  They are even lighting scented candles to create the comfort scents that would have normally come from the actual acts of baking bread or a pie, with out realizing the deadly effects that those chemicals and the leads in the wicks are creating.  I am allergic to almost all chemicals, and perhaps that is a blessing.  My body allows me to know what is and is not good for me.  There are enough things around that we have no control over.   So with that said, I am going to enjoy the natural scents of fall.  Today, I will make some soup, drink some chai tea and enjoy the season.   

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