Where I live in the northeast United States, nature has already started her annual chorus concert, featuring crickets and cicadas, along with other wildlife soloists. They have returned for another season of performances, celebrating the arrival of October.
Like many, I love October because it is synonymous with the harvest season. Sitting on my living room couch, listening to the cicadas' high-pitched singing accompanied by a warm, lively humming from other winged creatures, I yearn for a country scene with fields of golden pumpkins and giant rolls of hay, and orchards laden with apples, peaches and pears.
It is a perfect time of the year when families take trips to the idyllic countryside, revisiting their favorite farms, or exploring new ones, where they pick their own fruits and vegetables in an open field. Children often enjoy skipping to a hayride, finding that perfect pumpkin for their front door, and sinking their teeth into a candy apple.
My family has been taking such trips for years, first on the north shore of Long Island where we used to live, and now in rural Maryland. Whimsically, we often pick up interesting farm produce such as purple cauliflower, strange leafy vegetables and funny-looking squashes. Each year, we can't wait to get back home and start another culinary adventure with our new finds.
When they were little, my children, Keaton and Halley, loved helping me to make an improv helping me to make an improv “farm soup" with some of the produce we had brought back: red beets, golden potatoes, purple yams and green kale. A bowl of steaming hot soup decorated with a spoonful of sour cream became our dinner tradition after a farm visit.
Now the harvest songs are calling me again, luring me and my family toward country roads and expansive fields where vines and branches are heavy with fruits and vegetables. I see my family back in the fields picking them. I see a pot of farm soup on our dinner table.
Reflections From The East Column:
By Qin Sun Stubis