The seasons; they are a changin', in ways both old and new. Summer's humidity is fading away and that familiar crispness of fall is settling in. Turn, Turn, Turn was a hit song by the Byrds; originally written by Pete Seeger from words taken almost verbatim from the Book of Ecclesiastes. One of the lines was "to everything there is a season"...it was time for us to welcome Fall.
The first cool weekend a couple of weeks ago also brought the first craving for a filling, steamy bowl of chili and so we whipped up a healthier vegetarian version as well as a hearty whole wheat cornbread from the Nelson-Atkins cookbook Culinary Masterpieces. It was a warm, comforting early taste of Autumn. The recipe for the cornbread is at the end of the post.
We experienced cool temps of another sort when K and I, along with his parents, inaugurated a new tradition to welcome the fall season. We spent a couple of days at their lake house at the Lake of The Ozarks, but one sublime day in particular, involved a day-long trip on their boat. We bundled up against the sixty-some degree temps and indeed, the wind could be chilling, but, oh, was it exhilarating. We stopped at Big Momma's hotspot for a spicy Bloody Mary, admired the stunning homes near the toll bridge and stopped over in a couple of coves for Ken to do some fishing or for Helen to put out turkey and ham sandwiches. Also included in the weekend was some drunken Yahtzee and a sunset dinner at JB Hooks featuring some of the best French Onion soup we've ever had. A new tradition is born and this family don't play when it comes to tradition.
Finally, our recognition of Fall will move to my hometown of St. Marys, WV to take in the breathtaking blaze of fall colors. As we prepared to leave KC today, K and I went to see Carolyn to get a visual of her before we left. She was a bit agitated today, but is lifting one arm on command and smiling more. Progress may be slow but it continues. From there I went to see Jane at NKC Hospital; who is recovering from breast cancer surgery. Our girl has certainly had the wind taken out of her sails but remains delightfully loopy. I brought her some of her favorite Dove chocolates and we chatted animatedly for some time. Jane's on some heavy drugs but was surprisingly lucid. She stunned me by telling me that she was being comforted by the cat that was on her lap....which she then told me was Ulysses. Ulysses was mine and Keith's cat who passed away a couple of years ago...from cancer. Whatever Jane was experiencing could have been due to the drugs but I also love the idea of Jane gaining comfort from Ulysses, however it happens.
Finally, our wheels did the turning as we kicked off our vacation with a road trip back to my hometown. From one cherished set of women here in KC to St. Marys, WV where I will spend some time with some more of my beloved gals: my Mom and sister; Kristy, Kak, Connie, Lyd, SJ and more. I remain all the richer being surrounded by these wonderful women, as we all watch the seasons change.
Whole Wheat Cornbread
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup white cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onion
Combine yellow and white cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk, eggs, honey and oil and stir until blended. Stir in carrots and onions. Pour into a greased 9 inch square pan and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Serve with honey and butter.