Welcome to autumn. Not to me. I am a country kid and we had fall; fall because the leaves fell. When I go out in the fall, I am surrounded by the aromas that exist in only that season. Vivaldi was right in his opus Four Seasons; I am listening to his Autumn section as I write this.
We went to a high school football game on Friday night and the weather Gnome had his hot, humid, and sultry hands around my neck. I hate him. Periodically a breeze as soft as a baby’s sigh teased us with a twinge of relief. That night rain came, drowned the Gnome and washed away the heat and high humidity. The next day felt like fall as cool and crisp as a fugi apple. The chill makes the air smell different.
At this time of the year people light their wood stoves and fireplaces and some burn leaves. Fall festivals proliferate and there are always many food booths that fill the air with delightful aromas. There are some people who can or claim the can identify the type of wood burning by is the distinctive scent. Not me.
The apple cider that I enjoy so well tantalizes my senses. Fall always enjoins trips to the orchard. The scent of apples mingling with cinnamon is in the air almost everywhere. The air is redolent – filled with – the taste and smell of Pumpkin spice flavor as it permeates everything from pies, to drinks, to hamburgers, to desserts, to anvils, to car exhaust.
Dry fallen leaves have an aroma, smell, too. I don’t recall raking many leaves in my salad days. We just didn’t. Nonetheless when we went to town it seemed every house had five maple trees and they all dropped their leaves producing a delightful musky, woodsy smell. However, when everyone began to burn them it was not so good. I can still smell those burning leaves.
Fall festivals and homecoming events move in to replace the fairs and carnivals of the summer. Inevitably there are people cooking huge kettles of beans over a wood burning fire. The aroma of that fire combined with the beans yells “fall is here” and is most pleasing. In addition, there are some enterprising entrepreneurs who render lard in a huge black kettle that fills the air with the heavenly smell of bacon, and my salivary glands do handstands.
Inside our house, BW is concocting her excellent vegetable soup. As the vegetables from the farmer’s market mix with our tomatoes and tomato juice, they smooze with succulent chunks of beef and other ingredients, causing my tongue to make moves that contestants on Dancing With The Stars only dream about. Our son-in-law Todd is a surprisingly good cook; I am not. He cooked for himself during dental school. He makes what he calls cabinet soup because the ingredients are whatever he has on hand. It tastes great. Write me for the recipe. Never mind as I’ll only say, “Use what is in your cabinet.”
This is fall. Pardon my faux pas, Autumn.
[Larry Vandeventer. Go to my two websites – Larryvandeventer.com and wjrambler1956.com – and purchase my books. I grew up North of Calvertville and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State. Contact me at Goosecrick@aol.com or 812-557-3342]