Question Wednesdays: Changing Seasons
Posted on at • 0 Comments • 312 views
- What is your favorite season? What colors, scents, tastes, sounds do you associate with it?
They all hold their own appeal, and there are elements I like about every season; but when I was growing up, my favorite season was spring. The weather got warmer, things smelled green and alive, but there wasn't the oppressive heat of summer. And sometimes it would rain and be a little chillier, but then the next day it would go back to warmer weather. Now that I've moved north, I still like the same temperatures and time of year; but up here that's most often early summer (which normally doesn't really start here until June. Any warm weather that occurs before the last weekend in May is a sham, don't put away the layers just yet...) To me, spring is green and gold and blue and smells warm and alive and damp. It tastes like dandelions and fruit punch.
- What are your favorite and least favorite parts of each season?
In winter, I love the snow and those moments during a snowstorm - light or heavy - where the wind falls off, there's a lack of sound, and the whole world seems muffled. In a world with so much constant background noise, I always loved those "noiseless" periods during snowfall. I do not, however, love the winter winds. They're harsh and biting and dry out my eyes. I love the smell and taste of the air in spring, but I can do without the pile-of-slightly-mouldy-wet-laundry smell that many trees give off in spring. It's part of how they attract insects, to pollinate, so it's arboreal pheromones...but gah, what a musty heavy smell. One unfortunate snootful of that and I can't get the taste out of the back of my mouth for hours. I can also do without starling nesting season. Those little bastards get mean if you walk within five feet of wherever they're nesting; and in my area, they nest all over the place. They don't just scold or bully, like jays; they divebomb and strike with their beaks. And let me tell you, they're good at hitting their targets!
- Do you have any seasonal disorders (SAD, allergies, the fall dread of school starting up or celebration of same...)?
I don't. My mom says that she has a harder time of it in the winter, when the days are shorter. She makes a big production out of every December 22nd, the day after the winter solstice, when the days start getting longer (though most people don't perceive the lengthening daylight periods until January 20th or so.) I have just as hard a time getting up early in the summer as I do in the winter; and if I'm sleeping in past 10am any time of the year, I either stayed up late on previous nights and am making up for it, or I'm ill. I kind of miss the seasonal start-of-school frenzy...though part of that is admittedly my addiction to office supplies, particularly pens. I have four packages of metallic gel roller pens, three of which are unopened, all of which are more than a decade old. That won't stop me from picking up a few more any time I'm in OfficeMax or Staples, though. (If any company ever comes out with gel roller eyeliners, I'm utterly and completely sunk.)
- How do you change your beauty routine as the seasons change? Do you use different products, or just different colors? (Or less makeup during one season, or more during another?)
My skin dries out in winter, so I'll moisturize more conscientiously. I'll use SPF daily in summer - not so much in winter. I've also noticed that I'll tend to want to wear more elaborate makeup in autumn or spring, or the first days of summer. In winter I'm more prone to no-makeup days, or simpler makeup (foundation, a single eyeshadow color, mascara, and a lip balm.)
- Share your favorite winter or summer recipe! A salad, a sandwich, a dessert, a drink...anything.
In winter, I love cooking crock-pot chili. You can change this to suit your personal tastes; and if you're vegan you can completely leave out any kind of meat whatsoever (maybe substitute in some larger-cut mushrooms for texture?) but the basic recipe is: 1 15-ounce can each of: black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, chili beans (spiced pinto beans, essentially)
2 24-ounce jars of hot salsa (I usually get Safeway brand salsa, when it's on sale)
Rinse and drain the kidney, black, and garbanzo beans. Pour all the beans into a 4-quart crock pot (or a bigger one if you have it, but I've got the 4-quart one)
Add both jars of salsa, stir, and cook on low power for 4 hours.
At 4 hours, add cut-up bits of chicken (cut to suit your preference, but I've found that the best size is a 1/2-inch by 1-inch strip, or thereabouts. Larger, and they just get unwieldy. Smaller...well, make them smaller if you want itty bitty chickenbits in your chili.) I haven't tried ham or pork in the chili. I'd imagine that cubes of beef would also work just fine, if you prefer. Stir in the meat pieces so that they're all covered by the chili - anything sticking up out of the liquid will just dry out.
Put the lid back on the crockpot, cook for another four to five hours on low power.
I ladle mine into 2-cup plastic containers (good old Gladware). That much chili will fill 8-10 containers, and each container is a single serving. They keep for a few months in the freezer (probably longer), then just switch them to the refrigerator the night before you want to have some for dinner. Serve with cornbread, crackers, whatever...but this is a good way for me to have chili on a day when I know I'm going to be too tired to cook, or when I know the weather's going to be particularly cold.
Like this entry? Check these out:
or look at other entries tagged with