The weather is definitely on the change, whilst cycling last weekend I noticed that the sides of the road and pavement had begun to accumulate brown leaves which have dropped like the temperature. The challenge of dressing as a cyclist is all to apparent as you end up wearing far too many layers and soon you find yourself with no pockets left to stuff that extra gilet that was such as good idea at 8am.But i was reminded that as hot as the summer has been, autumn is soon to follow with the home comforts, bronzed woodland hues and the off pumpkin or two ready to lift the spirit when the evenings start to draw in.
This weekend sees the ‘Autumn Equinox’ which some believe to be the start of autumn according to the astronomical calendar, not to be confused with the meteorological calendar which begins on September 1st. At the time of the autumn equinox the sun passes directly over the earth’s equator and marks the day when day and night are roughly equal in length. In fact ‘equinox’ is taken from latin and translates to “equal night”.
So the shortening days make Autumn a both and wonderful and challenging season, we still have a little of the summer heat (honest) but the mornings have a chillier feel and by 7pm night has truly set in. It is easy to understand why the change in season has a big effort of people and their lives, the hibernation instinct in us sets in and we start to spend more time indoors locking ourselves away from the elements.
But its not all doom and gloom, Autumn also signals the beginning of the end the harvests, the fruit on the trees have fully ripened, blackberries offer up there dark fruited jewels by springing up in the most unusual places (much to the annoyance off gardeners with their long sharp vines) and the veg patch begins to show off its splendour with warming colours of orange and brown.
It is here where autumn provides the cook with an abundance of produce, hearty stews that are rich in flavour by slow cooking pot roasts to warming sweet bakes of crumbles and cakes.
It is therefore no coincidence that food plays an important part for me during the season of autumn, it truly is an harmonious assault on the senses with sight, smells, sounds and tastes. Whilst summer zingy flavours that attack your mouth and quench your thirst, autumn brings you the comfort and relaxed of complex flavours like cinnamon and cardamom in dishes that not only warm the body but also warm the soul too. Who can't resist a second slice of lightly spiced apple pie or that extra slice of carrot cake that gives you that warm glow inside.
We all have our favourite recipes that either have been handed down or ones that we have come to love which re-ignites memories of autumn brings. From splashing through muddy puddles when you where a child to the patter on rain on the window whilst curled up on the sofa watching a movie or reading a book, safe inside from the wild elements of the weather. You can relate those times to enjoying a warm treat be it savoury or sweet that make you think "Hey autumn isn't that bad after all'.
To help you along I have created a little recipe that will help you embrace the season with my Sticky Toffee Apple pudding, you can find the recipe and many more by clinking on the tab below
So this coming weekend I challenge you to embrace autumn for what it its, there are so many places and events that will entice from under the duvet on a cold damp morning. Catching the rich cascade of colour that nature will be putting on is not a sight to be missed and you can always reward yourself with a warming drink after.