The end of summer is near; I feel it on the air. Two emotions kick in for me: squirrel instincts and dread of winter. I begin to build my nest up for the cold: freezer jam, canning tomatoes, apple pie filling, grape juice, and, later, cleaning house and garden from front to back--it's autumn fever for me, not spring.
When the dread of five p.m. darkness lurks into my thoughts, I remind myself that we are not so distant from our bear cousins. Winter is a good time for turning the furniture toward the fireplace, baking that stored-up apple pie filling, and consuming all the seasons of Northern Exposure (or whatever your fix may be). It's also okay to lay around for four months and gain ten pounds, as long as I come out of my cave running next spring.
ANYWAY, I want to make a huge plug here for canning, freezing, drying, or whatever method you can use to take year-round advantage of home or nearby grown produce. (Check out the ever-helpful and resourceful Utah State Extension for instruction on how to can/dry/freeze/store any foods). Eating in season is one of the greatest dietary decisions we can make to lessen our carbon footprint on the earth. Living in Utah and eating in season can mean a hell-of-a-lot of winter squash, beans and potatoes unless you have:
- done a little (or a lot) of preparation in the fall, and/or,
- purchased the greatest cookbook for eating seasonally and really liking it--Simply In Season
"Through stories and simple “whole foods” recipes, Simply in Season...explores how the food we put on our tables impacts our local and global neighbors. It shows the importance of eating local, seasonal food — and fairly traded food — inviting readers to make choices that offer security and health for our communities, for the land, for body and spirit."