"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Autumn, Allergies and Affaires de Coeur

"I love the fall. I love it because of the smells that you speak of; and also because things are dying, things that you don't have to take care of anymore, and the grass stops growing."- Mark Van Doren

Greetings! I stumbled across this quote in my travels and had to laugh.
Two friends expressed this exact sentiment to me recently; that they are in fact relieved when fall arrives and they get a break from all the watering and yard work ... lol!

Today's post is a bit of this 'n that...

It's a glorious fall day here, 15C and scarcely a cloud in the sky. I can hear numerous lawnmowers rumbling throughout the neighborhood - we just did ours (well, hubby did that is :) and now I'm watering. Fall watering is something a lot of people overlook, but it's crucial to preparing your plants for the long, dry winter months ahead. We are particularly dry right now as we have not seen any real precipitation, save one day of light rain, in close to two months; hard to believe after our very wet spring.

The above pic was taken at the farmer's market this past Wednesday. I took a leisurely stroll through with my daughter, admiring all the lovely fall bounty and then we popped into a local coffee shop where I had a spiced pumpkin latte and she a chai tea. Something in the latte (perhaps an ingredient in the whipped topping?) did not  agree with me and I had a noticeably swollen top lip for the rest of that evening and half of the next day...! It was very tasty, but I think I will pass on the pumpkin next time.

On two separate occasions this week, I spent a number of hours in the local Goodwill. Here are a few of my treasures; one I will save for closer to Halloween...

These are Corningware (2.5 and 4 liters)
and are in mint condition.

First published in 1859,
I look forward to sharing selected (often amusing) tidbits
from this fascinating little book. 

This looks like it will be a very interesting read.
I've already tried (& loved) the following recipe:

Spicy Sardine Salad
(serves 1)

I know sardines are not on everyone's list of favorite foods - but they have been on mine for many 
years based on the simple fact that they are a powerhouse of a food: 
an excellent source of protein, calcium and essential fatty acids. 
Also, cheap and fast!

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (I used less)
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced and cut into half-moon strips
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch of chili powder
1 can water-packed sardines, drained
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 bunch of arugula or watercress, coarsely chopped (I used mixed greens)

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute with a pinch of salt.
After 2 minutes, mix in the cumin, coriander and chili powder. Continue sauteing, stirring
frequently until the onion is tender and translucent, about 5 more minutes. Transfer from the skillet to a serving bowl and let cool. Add the sardines and lemon juice (it says mix well here, but next time I plan
to dice the sardines and very lightly toss with the onions - makes for a more attractive presentation)
Serve over a bed of greens.

I threw a few pieces of lemon in as well.
It was very yummy.

3-volume boxed set, superb condition: $2.99.
I am finally going to read the Harry Potter series, lol!
(This is so typical of me: crazy about Seinfeld, but only watched it in reruns)
I'm already in chapter 4 of the first book and can hardly put the silly thing down, haha.

Anyone for a skiing holiday in the French Alps?
I freely admit to being a sucker for all things 'French'.

I leave you with this lovely painting by Emile Claus entitled, 
The Old Gardener (Le Vieux Jardinier, de Oude Tuinman)

Emile Claus was a Belgian painter, and although not French, (if you've ever read Agatha Christie
or watched a movie featuring her character Hercule Poirot, you will know why I am being so specific!) he was greatly influenced by the French impressionists, like Claude Monet whose works he got to know during his trips to Paris in the 1890's. Claus gradually shifted from naturalistic realism to a very personal style of impressionism called 'luminism', because of the luminous palette he used.

I would love to have this hanging in my home to warm me throughout the coming winter months.

All for now,


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