As you know, this week, I’ve been writing articles on all the loudest, merriest and well known food festivals around the world this October….it was pure escapism for me just and somehow, it has really got me in a celebratory mood. This is truly a glorious month for all cultures around the world, paying their own special respects to seasonal harvests, or important religious dates – it feels like everyone has something to be thankful for. We have Eid that has just passed, and Taste Safari created a wonderfully exotic cinnamon-infused Emirati dish to bring to the festivities, and coming up we have Diwali, the incredibly auspicious Indian celebration that closes down most of India for at least 10 days! Grand firework and gastronomic festivities are everywhere, I’m really looking forward to a very colourful week of articles later this month.
This week, as happy as I’m feeling inside, there is always the weather to contend with. We are coming well into the rainy season here in Kenya and I know many of my followers in the northern hemisphere are just about beginning to feel a wintry chill setting in. It’s the season for log fires, warm drinks and hearty food. The one childhood memory that remains sealed in some secret place in my mind is the forest walks that we took on my father’s farmland. Walking amongst layers of fallen leaves and soft, moss-covered rocks, jumping over little seasonal streams and climbing over large fallen oaks, I’ll never forget the smell of freshly fallen rain on the hot African dust. Did you know, there is an actual word that describes this heady, earthy fragrance…“Petrichor“. Taken from the Greeks, it literally means the fluid in the veins of the Gods hitting stone. What better way to describe the forest-filled scent? It is almost as if the infusion of all the flowers mingles with freshly fallen rain.
We would play freely when the rain would stop, escaping into the garden in our wellies , known as gumboots in my day, and what fun we had skipping and hopping over little reflecting pools.. We were innocent and free without any shackles of care or responsibility and explored our gardens and the little forest in the corner of the farm like small woodland spirits in amongst the tall sky-seeking trees. What fun we had as kids, with all but the outdoors and the turning seasons of Mother Nature to keep us entertained….
With these childhood memories, come the taste of warm home cooked casseroles and hot chocolates by the fireplace, there is something that I will always hold close; the warmth of a happy family bundled in as the rain poured across our countryside home. So this week, let me bring that warmth into your home as I explore some of the more autumn-rich dishes. Enjoy, in quiet serenity, the peacefulness of this time of year – so much to love about everything in this life.
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