Autumn daydreaming

Lately, I’ve found myself drawn to Kate Christiensen’s blog. Her blog includes recipes; but has no photos, nor ingredient lists, nor links. It is all about the narrative. Her writing is touching and humorous and beautiful.

So now – or at least today, you get just that. No photos – just use your imagination. When I was a kid, my imagination was my best friend and daydreaming was my best subject. Autumn is a particularly good season for daydreaming; getting lost in the changes, from the ground to the sky to the kitchen, laced with grey and tawny and pungent spice. When I was a kid I would often go into the yard with a football, run around catching balls and diving into and over piles of leaves, all the while commentating on my play. Most boys that are into sports as a kid play this game – the last second shot, the final pass down the field for the touchdown. I took it the extra step to not just occasionally commentate on my last second play, but throughout the entire “game” that I would play. I would go through multiple downs and quarters; I would give the other team points; and I would play with my favorite 49ers of the early 90’s – Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and others.

I can feel summer slowly turning into fall, and it makes me wanna kick around some leaves. The weather is leisurely shifting to “light sweater,” with its cool, crisp mornings. The autumn sun is still warm with an ochre-tint in the afternoons, as everything slowly begins adjusting to gold. And the days are growing shorter with a slanted, gilded light that feels like falling leaves and football.

I’m writing this from the comforts of my dining room table on a perfectly mild, mid-September morning. Today is September 22nd, which means it’s officially fall. It won’t be long before its time to turn our clocks back, say farewell to the sun, and throw an extra blanket on the bed. It also means it will be time for soup; a time that Amber loves dearly. The sunsets begin arriving sooner, painting the hills purple and peach, the daylight dwindling behind long shadows. As much as I love spring and summer in Sonoma County, nothing can touch autumn. If I could stay in one season it would be autumn. I love the crispness of the mornings and the feeling of life slowing down; starting a sort of hibernation for the winter, getting away and resting after a summer filled with activity.

Amber is busy caking for delivery as it is still technically wedding season. We spend most Saturdays apart. With the new job, I’ve basically been living with her Mon-Fri, and then coming home for the weekends. I’m still getting used to resting during my actual weekend. Saturday mornings are quiet around here; all the roommates are working (winery folk). The occasional bit of commotion comes from across the street where every morning starting at 9am, the Lil Kickers play soccer (which is actually quite entertaining to watch). A swarm of kids all run after the ball until it eventually goes into the goal. The only time the whistle blows is after goals; when the ball goes out of play; halftime; and at the end of the game, where inevitably, one kid breaks into tears because his team lost, or because he never touched the ball – and how could you when you have to break through the seven layers of children, orbiting around the ball?

Autumn seems to allow for pensively recluse behavior with a touch of whimsy and melancholy – a perfect equation for daydreaming. Today, my pleasures come from a good cup of coffee and the ability to get lost daydreaming about fall, and writing all about it without the slightest tinge of writers block.

Tomorrow, my buddy Scott (a Vikings fan) and I, will sit and watch my 49ers play his Vikings. Scott and I used to work the brunch shift at a restaurant that was often so slow; we could spend most of the morning watching football and sipping coffee (before shifting to mimosas for the afternoon game). One of our favorite breakfast snacks was a truffled-egg salad on toast. A little mayo and mustard and chopped black truffles mixed into finely sieved egg, spread on grilled toast. I’d do my best to not eat six or seven of them before the day’s end. The simple concoction made my Sunday morning.

It is now noon. Noon on Saturday morning and nowhere to be except right here: typing, sipping coffee, and daydreaming. Hello autumn.

Truffled egg salad

1/2 dozen eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and finely chopped (or sieved)

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 TBSP yellow mustard

1-2 TBSP chopped (canned) black truffle of ½ TSP (or taste) truffle salt

2 TBSP minced chives

Salt to taste (if you don’t use truffle salt)

Pepper to taste

Place eggs in bowl; add the mayonnaise, mustard and truffles. Mix until evenly blended. Add chives, and mix briefly to incorporate. Serve over grilled bread. If you want add-ons, try smoked salmon, or prosciutto or fresh tomatoes.

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