Friday, October 3, 2014

October Harvest

Westham Island Herb Farm
I love vegetables! All vegetables! So it seems reasonable that October is one of my favourite months.
Yesterday, Maman and I crossed the wooden lift bridge to visit Westham Island, a farming community about 20 minutes away. It takes such a short time to transport us from our busy suburban community to a rural one.
I love the golds, rusts and oranges of October.

One of our favourite places to visit is the Westham Island Herb Farm, a family owned farm that sells an assortment of vegetables, fruits, preserves, gourds, aprons and even bales of straw for those who wish to decorate. There are scarecrows, a haunted house and animals to visit. All within a short drive from home.
a wagonload of squash
I have been attending Weight Watchers for a few months and I am really enjoying the Simple Start programme. I enjoy preparing vegetables and I find making soup strangely therapeutic. A couple of years ago, I bought a Staub La Cocotte pot to replace my 30+ years old Le Creuset. I love the rich red colour of the pot. I rinsed and soaked lentils, chopped and simmered vegetables and seasoned with NoMu masala.
Terracotta, red and sunflowers are October.
I do miss autumn stories:Stone Soup, The Enormous Turnip…I started my writing course on Tuesday evening. I am working on a children's picture book based on the wartime evacuation of the Japanese from my local fishing village. The fishermen's houses and the boat works are now part of a museum.
Once this was a thriving fishing centre.
The houses and the gardens of the Japanese have been restored and I especially enjoy seeing Mrs. Murakami's garden. It is sometimes part of my walk.
Mrs. Murakami's garden. Mrs. Murakami may have been the last "picture bride."
October is a month to be grateful for the harvest and for the sunshine of early fall. It's a time for snuggly sweaters and corduroy pants. I like to light a scented candle as we don't have a fireplace and read my book. Right now, I'm reading Arthur and George by Julian Barnes. It is a book club selection and Monsieur is enjoying it more than I am. Mixed gender book clubs are tricky as men and women seem to have quite different reading tastes. That's a generalization but it is based on 30 years of library employment.
an October friend

Later today, I will be celebrating at a paycheque party as my teacher friends are happy to be back to work. October may also be the month to switch from Pinot Grigio to Malbec or Autumn Ale…So many decisions.

11 comments:

  1. What a lovely post Madame!

    Nomu masala is, I presume, a brand of masala spice? A mixture of spices?

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    1. It is a mixture of cumin, coriander and other spices. A South African company puts them together for a meat rub but they work for a soup or stew as well. The soup was very tasty and I have lots to freeze.

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  2. Love all your colourful images!
    That Staub pot is so cheerful in that great shade of red. I like making soups and stews in the Fall and Winter as they are so warming on a chilly day and if you are fortunate enough to have leftovers it makes for easy lunches when you are pressed for time....even if it is only because you have your nose planted firmly in a good book.

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    1. I got the idea from you and I think that vegetable soup with a piece of toasted wholegrain bread is a good lunch.

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  3. What a good idea -- using a meat rub in a soup (depending on the rub, of course, but I'm going to look for the one you mentioned). Thanks!

    Mary

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    1. I have been trying to use my spices and seasonings as I have many that were purchased for a special recipe and have been in the cupboard for some time. The Indian and Middle-Eastern seasoning can probably used in any number of dishes.

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  4. Nummy! I love the deep, rich flavours of autumn vegetables, foods that simmer. . . .Your Staub cocotte is such a friendly colour! But I'm curious about why you replaced your LeCreuset -- they're impossible to wear out, I know from experience! I'd love a trip out to Westham Island. Would also love to hear more about your children's book -- that's a great topic. And since we're talking books, yes to Julian Barnes. I haven't read that title, but when I'm retired, I'm working right through Barnes' backlist, absolutely!

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  5. My old orange LeCreuset didn't wear out. Monsieur took it for camping. I still use the orange frypan just about every day. Westham Island and the Reifel Bird Sanctuary are great autumn day trips. This is the first Julian Barnes' book that I have read but he uses language very well. Monsieur and I are adding a number of words to our vocabularies.

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  6. His memoir, Levels of Life, is beautiful, erudite, moving. . . . I highly recommend it. . .

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  7. Madame ~ Forgive me for going off-topic, but would you mind letting me know the name of the school in Mexico you support? I recall reading about it here, but cannot for the life of me find the post. Told a friend about it, and she would like to know more. As I recall, you even included a link for a video . . . unless I am losing my mind and it wasn't you, in which case, ignore this. ;-) Thanks in advance! Mary

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  8. It was me. I have stayed at the apartment and sponsored a student at the Oaxaca Learning Center which is a wonderful non-profit organization that supports indigenous students who wish to continue their education. I will be spending time in Oaxaca next year and will be volunteering with young people there. There is a link on my blog but I think the address is tolc.org.mx

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