"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Feeling sorta fallish

by Julie on November 14, 2010

in Chew on This

Los Angeles is infamous for its lack of seasons.  Actually, it’s only infamous if you’re from somewhere else, because most everywhere else has bona fide seasons. And since Los Angeles is filled with people mostly from somewhere else, we locals hear more than we care to about its dearth of seasonal weather.

But if you were born and raised here you know better. There are seasons, but they’re subtle. Fall for example. There is a distinct shift in the light when the Autumnal equinox arrives — the harsh brightness of summer suddenly dims by three shades and grows golden. The air too, carries a hint of nip, even when it’s still hot. It’s there even during our traditional October Indian Summer, lurking just beyond it. Sometimes you can only just smell it.

And then the Autumn produce arrives, in all the colors you see come fall everywhere else.

Hachiya Persimmon

Nobody told Mr. Persimmon that we don't get fall colors in Southern California

There’s something about a persimmon tree heavy with fruit. It makes me want to break out the watercolors. And yet I don’t particularly care for the taste. I buy them to look at. I buy them to admire them on my windowsill, a reminder that, even though it might be 80 degrees outside, it’s still fall.

Pomegranates. An ancient fruit with magical qualities that I buy more for their symbolic power than for their taste. I used to have fun with them when I was a kid, when I didn’t mind enjoying the juice, one seed at a time, and had many T-shirts to ruin.  I don’t have such patience these days. And I really like my T-shirts.



There are some big ass pumpkins out there right now. Cheap!

big ass pumpkins

The pumpkins that ate SoCal

The final clue that Autumn has arrived is that I buy myself the first butternut squash of the season. I roast it with butter and brown sugar, and then trick my kids into eating it.  Rather, I trick them into the first bite — they continue on by themselves with no help.

butternut squash in a little dish

butternut squash for the kiddies...in a little dish

What’s fall like in your part of the world?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce November 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I loved your description of Southern California Autumn. It reminds me of home.

We managed to get out of town a few weeks ago, but I still feel like I haven’t gotten the full Fall experience. In the mountains, where I used to live, the hills would be covered in trees exploding with color, painting them with thousands of points of gold, red and orange. And the sun would become thick and golden, with a definite weight. It was such a beautiful time of year, and is one of the few things that I truly miss.


JulieR November 29, 2010 at 8:45 am

I love autumn in CA. I love those deep orange persimmons against the blue sky. I love that golden light. Ahh, I wish I were there!


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