As The Wheel of the Year Turns: Autumn
We all can feel the wheel of the year turn from summer to autumn, the air is a little crisper and cooler, leaves are changing to bright colors, porches are full of pumpkins and gourds, and we are pulling out our chunky sweaters. Though beautiful, fall isn't just sipping hot coffee, wandering around apple orchards and eating pumpkin everything. As the seasons shift, we are bombarded with all the stress that comes with it. Kids are back to school and there are lunches to pack, alarm clocks to set, ball games, practices and band rehearsals to remember and homework to finish before bed. Summer sunshine allowed us to spend plenty of time outside, and now kids are indoors in classrooms together which always marks the start of cold and flu season.
During this busy time, we are all guilty of grabbing quick and easy options for dinner that are not always the best options for maintaining a strong immune system and good health. Herbal remedies are a wonderful way to supplement what our bodies need, and I encourage you all to grab a bottle of immunity tincture to drip under tongues or rub on weekdays as you fly out the door.
On weekends, there is more time to create and relax, which is important for your body and overall health. Open your windows to the fresh clean air, give your house a good scrub, and hang your washed bed linens on the line to dry in the sunshine. Tune in to your local PBS station for inspiration to try a new recipe or start a new project. Pull out paint and canvas, go take photos of the changing leaves, embroider a toadstool on a tote bag, simply color a picture in a book. Take a walk with your spouse through the goldenrod and hold hands. Make a scavenger hunt for your kids to find a red leaf, acorn with a cap, a shiny buckeye nut, and other treasures the season gives. I enjoy prepping dinner early and letting it bake slowly through the afternoon so I may enjoy some pyrography (wood burning) and an audiobook to wind down from a busy week.
I hope these recipes inspire you to have a slower paced day, to enjoy the scent of garlic, herbs, and roasting meat in your home on a crisp autumn afternoon. These recipes are my personal favorites and are packed with virus fighting immunity boosters.
Jenni's Sunday Roast
3# pork shoulder/picnic roast
5 potatoes peeled and quartered
5 carrots peeled and chunked
1 yellow onion peeled and quartered
1 head garlic peeled
1 tsp each dried rosemary, thyme, winter savory, sage
1 c water
Place all in a Dutch oven with lid or cover with foil. Bake at 325 for 3-4 hours or until the meat falls apart tender. Add cornstarch to drippings for gravy and serve with fresh bread.
Then for dessert, treat yourself to our family favorite...
6-8 granny smith apples peeled and sliced in 1/2-inch slices
1/2 c dried cranberries
Place all fruit in an 8" glass casserole dish. Top with
1 c sugar
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c flour
1 c oats
1 tsp cinnamon
and 1/2 c butter cut in cold to pea size pieces.
Bake at 400 degrees 1 hour, serve with vanilla ice cream and a fresh cup of coffee.