Autumn: Food & Creativity

ScarlettWestHeart to Heart, Straight to the Stomach0 Comments

 

It’s not officially autumn, but here in the Northern Hemisphere we already feel the effects of the earth shifting. Canadian geese fly over my house heading south, the nights cool down faster, and the trees are losing their green color and leaves. Many of us mourn the loss of light, and with reason; with the long days of summer come warmth and lots of fun outdoor activities.

In many cultures, including in Old Europe, seasons have meanings and celebrations to mark the passing of time. My paranormal vampire romance novels have a bit of this old culture woven into the plot. As some of you already know, one of my settings is Latvia, a north eastern European country.

Originally, the Fall Equinox celebration in Latvia was called “Apjumības/Miķeļdiena”, the days in which the cereal/grain harvest was completed. A small grain offering from the field was made to Jumis, the Spirit of Fertility. Jumis means “twin” and he has a special symbol representing two shafts of wheat, so heavy in abundance that they broke and hung down at the tip. A version of this celebration makes a brief appearance in one of my novels.

Jumis on house

Jumis symbol on top of a house to bring prosperity to the home.

Jumis

 

 

Each season has something special to offer. Autumn is the bridge between summer when the sun is at its peak, and winter, when we head into darkness. Fall brings a bounty of harvest of many wonderful foods and a time to reflect on our lives.

Many lessons can be learned from observing Nature. With the fading of light, we tend to spend more time indoors. Why not take advantage to spend it with family and loved ones? Perhaps we have some creative projects we can work on. Staying indoors can bring many benefits if we look around and see what’s there.

I love fall. I love the brilliant colors, listening to the rain, and snuggling up in blankets with hot chocolate or tea while reading a book when it’s cold outside.

As the trees shed their leaves, we can also see fall as a time to let go of old patterns—thoughts that hold us back from reaching our true potential, emotions that weigh us down, or relationships that need to be left behind. New Year’s isn’t the only time we can start over. Today is a perfect day to begin again.

journal pic

Time spent indoors can mean some great meals and writing in a journal. Each season’s food prepares us for the upcoming season. For example, many autumn foods are rich in antioxidants and vitamins to strengthen our bodies for winter. Winter is the time when people tend to catch colds more often, so why not eat up autumn’s abundance to prepare? Below, I also have a quote and writing prompt that ties into fall.

Apples. We can buy apples all year round, but nothing beats a crunchy apple in autumn when they are at their natural peak. Full of antioxidants and healthy fiber, no wonder they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”

green apples on tree

Brussel sprouts and cabbage. Brimming with vitamins A, C, K, folate, and iron, these veggies give you a boost. Many people like to roast Brussel sprouts, but they can also be sautéed or steamed. I’ve heard they also taste good with bacon.

Pears. Another fruit that will fill you up with vitamin C, copper, and fiber. Plus, they are delicious!

Cauliflower. A vegetable that be steamed, roasted, sautéed, and mashed up with potatoes if you want to lower your carb intake. So far, the best way I like to eat this food is roasted as it brings out its nutty flavor. High in vitamin C, it also contains vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium.

Cranberries. Considered a super food because of how rich in nutrients they are, fall is their prime time. Loaded with vitamin C, A, antioxidants and flavonoids, this food can make its way to my plate!

Squash and sweet potatoes. How can I write about fall without mentioning these lovely foods? There are many varieties of squash including pumpkin, and they can be prepared in a variety of ways. Besides vitamins A, C, and E, amazingly they also contain Omega 3’s.

squash in a basket 2

And don’t throw out the seeds. Rinse and soak them in slightly salty water over night, then bake at a low temperature for a healthy protein snack. In fact, the seeds are packed with zinc, yet another mineral that readies us for the cold season.

Pomegranates. A fruit that might be tedious to eat, but their antioxidants and vitamin C are worth the trouble. Also, it’s said that pomegranates bring benefits for the heart and protecting against cancer. Can’t beat that! My mom juices them and makes jelly with them. Turns out great!

pomegranate with oranges

Kiwis. More vitamin C than an orange, plus vitamin A, K, E, potassium, and copper, this little fruit comes into season beginning in September. They are also great for the skin. I know they will be on my shopping list since I love them.

I hope your plate and your lives are filled with all the magic that fall brings. I leave you with a beautiful paragraph that you can also use as a springboard for journal time. We don’t have to be an official writer or author to put our feelings and thoughts on paper.

“Aaah—time to look at what we have birthed into being this year. What did we bring forth that totally awakened our desire? What of our own creations did we fall so in love with that we married it down in the marrow of our bones? What now are we getting ready to take with us into the dark?

Fall is a time of decision, of gathering in, of choosing what to keep and what to let go. Fall now into our heart of hearts. Dive now into the deep end of the pool of ourselves. Let go now of the above ground. Burrow now into our dream cave taking with us the final harvest, the essential piece that nourish the root of our being and bring us through to our next life.”

–Miriam Dyak, copyright Mother Tongue Ink 2015.

Thank you for reading. I’m in the middle of my paranormal blog series, and will return to it next post. Also, soon I will have another fall post on how to make fire cider—one of the best cold remedies and preventatives nature has to offer.

In the meantime, if you love paranormal romance, please sign up for my newsletter, “Scarlett West’s Pulse”. You can also stop by and say hi to me on Twitter and Facebook.

Warms Regards,

Scarlett West

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