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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Spontaneous Combustion

Stand back!

Some years, the transition from summer to fall simmers and creeps across leaves like caramelizing onions. Slow, steady. Not too hot now, or they'll burn. A sweetness tenderly kindled and set free from harsher, earthy stuff. Lovely. Sublime. A fall that pairs well with smooth soups and mild cheese. Grab something light and crisp on the palate to sip alongside, maybe a nice pinot gris or Diet 7Up.

This is not that kind of fall.

Some years, fall sizzles and flashes and pops—those same onions left to smoke and char in the skillet while you dash out of the kitchen to officiate a bubble-bath-turned-battle-bath between your two children. Such an autumn goes well heaped on burgers or brats. This time of year, one might opt for a pumpkin-flavored microbrew to wash it down. Enjoy at your own pace, then go check on the kids in timeout. 

This is not that kind of fall.

Then there are the years when all of the foliage in the garden seems to spontaneously combust into outright flame. Where yesterday hung the green (if piqued) leaves of summer, now, suddenly, there is only fire. All livid scarlet and retina-searing orange. Autumn spreads by shock waves from one tree to the next. Knocks you off your feet. Blink and another blueberry bush is ablaze.

Here, unfortunately, the onion metaphor quickly breaks down, unless one invokes some newfangled molecular gastronomy technique involving acetylene welding torches and/or sorcery. (Now that's a cooking show I would watch). A fall of this severity does not pair well with food, unless you care to stand back and hurl marshmallows or raw steaks in the general vicinity of your witch hazel's seething embers and hope for the best. Any accompanying libations ought only be issued at high pressure, from great distance, via fire hose. 

This is the kind of fall we are experiencing: an explosion of fiery senescence; a good-riddance bonfire to the summer-that-never-was; onions blasted to ashen oblivion; one last apocalyptic hurrah...

And one heck of a good show. 

Now how do I hook up this fire hose to my keg of 7Up?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, you are so right!! This has been the strangest oncoming of Fall!! Nothing.......nothing......nothing.....BAM!!! Some of the trees practically hurt my eyes, made more spectacular by the deep blue of the sky above!!! I LOVE FALL!!! :)