Monday, September 29, 2008

The Scent of Autumn

I am not into baking but, there are certain baked goods I really enjoy making.
Muffins for one, yeast breads are another.
I am on a bit of a bent, an Autumn one at that. I simply love Fall. It is my favorite time of the year and since I live in Florida, I miss the visual changes in Nature. The absence of change in my surroundings that is to say everything remains green, leaves me yearning for the colours of Autumn. In my mind I conjure up memories of Autumn past.

Of hazy mornings at the local Pumpkin patch with my sisters and their children.
Apple cider, hay rides and of course the pumpkin patch where you can select your own pumpkin for Halloween.
I feel a little bit like Linus of the comic strip "Peanuts".
I would most happily sit with Linus amid the field of pumpkins waiting for the "Great Pumpkin."

I have placed some silk multi-coloured leaves in my kitchen, most likely bought from Michael's Craft store. I have constructed and placed a wreath on my door, also of silk multi-coloured leaves that has a bow dotted with pumpkins. I think the geckos like sitting in it.
On my kitchen table are some rusty and gold colored chrysanthemums along with some deep purple heather. I have placed Cinnamon scented candles throughout my home.
In short, I have tried to create in my home the appearance of Fall. Walk outside my front door and you would still think we were in Summer.
Yet, despite all the visual effects I have placed here and there, nothing beats walking outside your door and seeing the changes that Autumn ushers in. Not only do I miss the sights I equally miss the smells of Autumn. Change is in the air.

Foggy mornings give way to afternoon sunshine. The smell of cut grass lingers in the air as folks take advantage of the sunshine to do some yard work. Hanging in the air is the faint scent of wood smoke. Cooler days makes one think about cleaning out the fireplace chimney with the approach of Winters cold weather.
The scent of Autumn.
So this brings me back to the baking.

I tired my hand at some scones on the weekend. Still feeling the need to embrace all things Autumn, I decided to bake some muffins.
Yesterday I cooked up some "quinoa" for a salad and today I am using the last cup to make
Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins.
It's funny, whenever I read the word Pumpkin, I want to say it, punkin. I am such a kid.
The first time I saw muffins made with quinoa, it was at a bake sale.
I bought one, tried it and enjoyed it so much........I bought the rest.

I am forever on the lookout for recipes that include a grain, something that I can squeeze into a recipe that imparts some healthful benefits. Quinoa is one such grain.
Sometimes I will cook up some for breakfast just like oatmeal.
Yesterday I put it into a salad.
Today, my muffins.

Indoors, in the background I hear the sound of my washing machine.
I look outside my living room window and see the ever present green of the golf course.
From the kitchen comes the scent of cinnamon as my muffins bake.
I am working on my second cup of coffee, flavored coffee actually. It was something I bought for myself in honor guessed it, Autumn.

And, it goes down well with muffins.
Happy Autumn.

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