If you live in Seattle you probably have strong feelings about autumn. For some, it signifies the beginning of the longest season of the year: The rainy season.
The rainy season starts sometime in September and usually ends on, or around, July 5th. Daylight is scarce. The rain is solid, the mist incessant. By Halloween we’re pondering sunny getaways, preferably sooner than later.
Some of us, however, look forward to the dark, dank, gloomy days ahead. I have a handful of things I start looking forward to when those 85 degree August days leave me wilting in my deck chair. Things I might feel otherwise guilty doing when the sun shines and clouds float lazily overhead. I know precisely what I’ll be indulging in when the weather turns. In fact, I’ve got a list of things I’m looking forward to once the interminable deluge begins.
When the sun is out, I’m outside. Taking walks, harvesting the garden, and hitting the nursery are my priorities. Summertime is busy time, and I don’t make enough time to read. When the rain rolls around? I have zero guilt about reading for an entire day. I start with a comfy couch. Add a fluffy blanket, and usually a small dog. I tuck into my book of choice. If I nod off while reading? No big deal. It’s pouring outside anyway. I put another log on the fire. I’ll finish off the dystopian novel and then move onto a character driven Gatsby-esque tale of intrigue and betrayal. Hot cocoa is optional but recommended.
Coffee on the porch
At six o’clock in the morning there’s nowhere I’d rather be having my coffee than on my front porch. The rain on the umbrella reminds me of childhood camping trips, my sister and I sleeping in a tent whispering, ‘Don’t touch the sides!’ to one another in excited tones. The coffee-and-cream scented steam wafting from the mug is heavenly. Bundled up in the de rigueur Seattle uniform (a fleece and stocking cap) I’m plenty warm and always up for a second cup.
Maybe one of the best things about fall is soup. Pureed cauliflower and walnut. Butternut squash, coconut milk and Sriracha. Classic chicken noodle. Soup is always great during cold weather, but making soup when the rain is pouring and you know it won’t stop until the following year? It warms the home. It infuses the kitchen with comfort. On the stove or in a bowl, soup evokes ‘cozy’ like nothing else. I make soup a couple times a week in the fall because I think I just might own the best book ever written on soup.
Autumn’s most versatile vegetable is one of my favorite foods. They’re delicious, used as a savory and a sweet. The sweets, oh, the list is long. Scones, cheesecake, muffins, and those lattes everyone loves. If you’re not a dessert type, pumpkin has your back, too. Curried pumpkin soup, a twist on traditional mac n cheese sauce, even savory pumpkin biscuits. Add some sage and a bit of pancetta to pureed pumpkin and you’ve got the perfect pasta sauce. And of course, there are those chewy-crunchy seeds.
If eating pumpkin isn’t your thing that’s okay, there’s still the old standby; turn it into a scary faced candle holder and hold hands with a fellow pumpkin hater in the moonlight.
Do you have any special fall traditions? Autumnal favorites? Anything special that heralds the beginning of this rainy season?
My name is Alicia Diefenbach and I’m a Community Relations Specialist at Verity Credit Union. I absolutely love my role at Verity! I have the opportunity to explore the communities in which we’re located, reach out to organizations and individuals making these places dynamic, inviting places to live, and get involved with activities that support their well-being.
In my spare time I dote on my vegetable garden. It still never ceases to amaze me that I can create my dinner out of dirt, some seeds, and cooperative weather. I love my dog, Frank. Also, I go to rock shows. A whole lotta rock shows.