11/17/2006

Kisetsu
















Every year with the passing of Halloween I start to feel the 'Holiday' season looming ahead. It always feels like one big rush from Thanksgiving to New Years, interspersed with Christmas, my father's birthday and now Blu-chans birthday as well. Aside from the usual expected consumer pressure, I often feel a sort of internal seasonal pressure as well - a drive to feel connected with the end of Autumn and the beginning of Winter. This time of year I constantly dream of soups and cider and pumpkin pie, and I get excited at the thought of brisk walks through leaves, wearing mittens and scarves and frost - which is amusing considering that I live in San Francisco, and it was 65 today and probably never frosts. But these are things that I remember from my childhood on the east coast.

I have been thinking about these types of remembered rituals lately, and how they connect to the Seasons. How sometime next week most of America will be eating Turkey, regardless of whether Turkeys are native or not to their state. Isn't that odd? And cranberry sauce? Cranberries have a pretty specific enviornment that they grow in, and it certainly isn't California. But I wouldn't dream of having Thanksgiving without these things (well ok, actually I do occasionally) because its tradition and just wouldn't 'feel' right. It amazes me how ingrained the rituals of the holidays are in me, and that no matter how far I go I'm sure that I will probably always look for pumpkin pie in Nov. because, in my understanding of the world, it is supposed to be there.

I have been trying to eat more 'in season' for awhile now. It ensures that your food travels less distance to your plate, and the local organic produce is generally better. This isn't that easy, because most of my cookbooks aren't written according to a season and if a recipe calls for tomatos they are certainly available from a hothouse at the grocery. To help my shopping I recently got a food wheel for the Bay Area, that shows which produce, fruit, fish and nuts are available in each month locally. and according to this wheel, in November instead of cranberries I should be eating - limes. which most likely do not go well with turkey.

The purchase this week of Martha Stewarts Holiday issue has also tipped off my Holiday craft lust. So many pretty things....so little time. I start to think that if I started now, this instant ,maybe I could knit socks for everybody I know and bake cookies by Christmas. This is truly delusional. I know that while making everyone on my list handmade gifts is a wonderful idea, I would never finish, and would end up buying stuff anyways. But I will make cookies.

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