The sky is almost white today from the bright light of fall.
Why does fall produce such a brilliant shimmer and not as much heat as the summer sun? I do understand our position on earth is farther away from the sun and not as warm, but why am I blinded by it's light in the fall like no other time of year? It has not been cold enough here in Tennessee yet to wrestle the green out of the leaves and splash the landscape with egg yolk yellows, blazing reds, and bursting oranges. The burn of summer is on its way out the door so far leaving behind a fading green. The bell peppers and tomatoes in my garden still produce daily; so far we've experieced no freezing temperatures at night. New volunteer seedlings spring up from the ground- zinnias, dill, tomatoes, melons, beans because of the plants which I allowed to go to seed. It'll be a little sad to see all those cute babies wiped out from the first frost. My lettuce has rejuvenated in the cool, and our family will have some nice salad if the bugs don't beat me to it first.
The sweet smell of baking fills my house. It's a cooking day. Have I mentioned before that I love to grow food, but I don't like to cook? In fact, I'm a bad cook. Though my step father while I was growing up was a chef(!), I was too full of attitude and arrogance to learn anything from him. Flavoring food does not come naturally to me. I don't know how to pick recipes from cookbooks or magazines which will taste good. I don't have a knack for inventing or following recipes. I secretly pick my friends on the basis of the excellence of their cooking skills- the better the cook, the closer the friend. I even keep friends who won't read my blog (Helen)if they invite me over to dinner now and then.
I'm forcing myself to cook for three reasons today. I'm making a meal for a friend's family of six boys while she is out of town for a week. Six boys will be too hungry to care about the quality of the food as they gulp and guzzle. I'm baking cookies to benefit a bake sale for another friend's trip to India. She'll interpret sign language for a doctor on a medical mission for the poor in April. If I adhere strictly to the instructions on the Nestle's chocolate chip package, I can make a mean Tollhouse cookie someone will actually enjoy. I'm also cooking for my own family. Please never let the proverbial cat out of the bag that other children do not have to suffer through such bland and tasteless meals. They'll find out soon enough on their own that their mother lacks gourmet talent.
In the evening, I'll meet my Uncle W at soccer practice for Wise One. I'll take him a plate since he works here during the week but lives out of town, and he'll compliment my supper. He's a kind man. His wife, my Aunt Gaye, is one the best southern belles and southern cooks of all time. She, however, does all her cooking after midnight and I couldn't possibly stay up that late to learn the fine art of frying chicken and canning apples.
I don't want to leave the impression that my shortfalls inhibit me from inviting people over for dinner. I don't let burned buns and boring casseroles stand in the way of time with dear friends. Stop on by when you're passing through TN. I'll serve something, and we'll spend the rest of the night emmensely enjoying ourselves together in conversation.
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