We have turned the corner into September. When I step out into the breezy morning, the trees billowing majestically above me, a perfume from distant fires tickles my senses - a suggestion, a beckoning to autumn. The old copper tourtières that hang on my kitchen door, ignored over the summer months, have captured my attention. I want to polish them and think about the dishes that will come into play in the next few months. Even before sweater weather begins to creep in, I'm turning the pages of my kitchen notebook and looking forward to cool evening harvest meals.
The children are full of the optimism that comes with lining up to start a new year. They are poised and ready for the sound of the starting gun. They are equipped with new books and pens, compasses and graph papers, smocks and smart new outfits with pants. Pastels and drawing papers in hand, a child draws a late summer blossom. The early autumn wind caresses her fine filmy hair while the summer sun continues to shine through it. This moment will not come again.
The kitchen notebook is never full, but all the same fairly brimming with tourtes and tartes, potages and soups, harvest food, traditional dishes, and preparations that nod in the direction of cool weather to come. Soon, they will be prepared with one purpose, to comfort in the dark of the onslaught of winter. But for now, we get the best of both worlds.
Ripe fruits and bright colors of summer are still glowing in our market baskets, and we roll our sleeves to begin to work on cuisine that resonates with the energy from the rentrée coming at us from all directions. Strength from strong arms at work in Bresse and Burgundy in the north, the heady pleasures rolling in over the Cote d'Or from Limousin and Auvergne from the west, the Alpine herbs and glorious mountain fare from the east, and the southern sun-filled produce from Provence in the the south. In Lyon, we set ourselves to the task of doing justice to autumn. (and take pictures of bacon.)