It was refreshing to be outside though only for a few minutes. I had most of a cup of coffee outdoors on Sunday and found it bracing.
"Now this," I said aloud to the Universe, "is what I call a great day. Thanks."
This weather is for hunkering down, for preparing for the cold and dark ahead, but more than anything else, it is for baking.
I am grateful for the change in weather as it makes me introspective and willing to do the household chores. Perhaps willing is a strong word, but certainly readier to do them than on a hot, languid day.
I'm also grateful for the wide variety of cookbooks I own. They fascinate me, whether they are several decades old, or ethnic, or specializing in something, they are a wonderful window on cultures. In my world the best way to study a culture is to eat.
I dug out The Ultimate Hot and Spicy Cookbook (Acropolis Books) and sniffed around. There, on p. 241, was this:
It's Peach Kuchen. Not hot in the spicy sense as it uses only cinnamon, and neither did I eat it hot in the temperature sense. It was easy to make and even kind of fun as I like to work with my hands and this involved topping the cake with sliced peaches. It smelled wonderful and looked like a right-side up upside down cake.
We had some more apples to use up. I had the time and inclination so I did this:
I used too much cayenne for my tastes in the last apple pie so I tried this one with black pepper. It's resting comfortably in the freezer right now so the results of the experiment are still pending.
I'm grateful for knowing how to bake, for having the time and the weather to bake, and for being adventurous enough to try new things, and new twists on old favourites.
And I'm grateful that I get to eat the results.