Summer days are shortening and while the days are hot, the nights are getting cold. Fall is creeping in on us. I’m never really ready to say goodbye to summer, but I do love this time of year. Mostly, for the food. This is when all the preparation, the effort, the care, the hope pay off. It’s harvest time.
Vegetarians deserve a showstopping centerpiece for their main course, too, and this burnished pumpkin, filled with a fragrant stew, will have even meat eaters saying, “Who needs a turkey?” Root vegetables, mushrooms, and seitan—a firm, meatlike wheat protein that soaks up all the flavors of the sauce—mingle with roasted vegetables inside the pumpkin, whose flesh you scoop out along with servings of the stew. (Don’t be intimidated at the thought of assembling such a masterpiece—if you’ve ever made a jack-o’-lantern, you have the skills to prepare this dish.)
When was the last time you stood or sat outside and with your eyes shut really listened and identified all the sounds? You will be pleasantly surprised at how much you actually take in but equally amazed at how little you really acknowledge in your busy and hectic life. The great thing about this type of meditation is there is no special equipment necessary, only your willingness to get out there and allow your intuition to guide you, your senses to awaken and your soul to become one with nature and the Universe. This exercise can be done during the day or under the stars and moon. Try both and see what a difference it makes in your stillness.