Scent of Autumn

Scent_of_autumn

I went to work at the restaurant this morning wearing more than one sweater, but I’m happy to report that the sun and its warmth have returned to the region. But, it’s not a summer sun. It’s that delicious, just warm enough to be almost hot heat; but not that sort of sticky hot, I need to eat a gelato heat.  The sun has lost its sharp edge, and is mellowing into an autumn mood.
I’m not sad to see the summer go, I love the change of seasons and all that comes with it.
In Montone, you know autumn has arrived when you start to smell the fireplaces burning. It’s such a fragrant smell, it’s one of those memory trigger smells. Its specific to the streets of Montone. There are still some houses in town that use only firewood for heat. One of these houses is owned by this ancient old lady who still hauls her firewood up the stairs every day. It was a big moment when the gas lines in town were run, which I think that happened in the mid-1990’s. Before that you had to haul a ‘bombola’, or propane tank down to Carla’s gas station every time you ran out. Having a gas line is greatly appreciated.
The only thing I hate about the arrival of autumn is having to close the windows. There is something about having all the windows open, and no screens that make you feel as if you are outside.  The other problem is that with the windows closed, I can’t hear the bells ringing so I have no idea what time it is!
The produce has already started to change at the market. Claudio, my cheese guy, came to Wednesday’s market with the first of the aged pecorinos. He also has some local porcini mushrooms, the first that I’ve seen. If we don’t have more rain, it’s going to be a very lean year for porcinis.  We’re already talking about what pasta sauce will replace the pesto sauce as basil becomes scarce. And so, the seasons change, and the food on the table changes. As it should be.

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