Seasonal Shift

Although I consider myself a summer child most comfortable in warm breezes, scant clothing, and bare toes, over three decades in the Northeast have made me an appreciator of sudden seasonal shifts. And I’m not talking about the obvious calendrical ones of Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter. As any forager or gardener knows, there are seasons within seasons.

virginia-creeperFor instance, just a week ago the wall of my apartment building and the wires between buildings were scarlet with Virginia creeper leaves. But those are almost all gone now. Now I see the quirky curves of sassafras branches against the sky, and curse the squirrel who dug into my potted parsley to bury a black walnut.

I probably don’t need to tell you that last weekend’s resetting of clocks also contributes to this sense of abrupt seasonal shift. It gets dark so early! It happens every year, and yet every year I am surprised by it.

The foraging season isn’t over, though. Far from it. There are rose hips to gather, and it actually hasn’t been cold enough yet for the Jerusalem artichokes to be as sweet as I like them.

Meanwhile, I’m supposed to be writing my next book. The productive procrastination that is apparently part of my writing process is going very well. This week it included making green tomato and pear chutney, paneer, and ricotta.palak-paneer

Speaking of books (ahem), Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries will be out next April, and is available for pre-order now.field-guide-cvr

Happy November,


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