Dear Fellow Bakers and Friends,
Welcome to the October 2018 Issue of Betterbaking.com!
If September was a balmy goodbye to summer, then October offers the unmistakable vibe of a new and cozy season that has the word bake written all over it! October is indelibly harvest time, fragrant with the perfume of Demeter, the grainy goddess of hearth and home. In fact, it’s as if the goddess herself upturned a bottle of her signature scent. Uncorked, the perfume of autumn spills over everything, decanting heady wafts of cinnamon, fresh apples nested in new hay, sugar pumpkins and sweet cords of vanilla beans. Everyone seems to inhale it simultaneously because this is exact moment of early fall where people I bump into tell me, ‘I must get back to baking and cooking again’ and then actually do because inspiration is everywhere. But how to choose what to make?
I know some of what I choose to bake is by mood or preferences of appetite; other stuff is simply a response to the sensory cues of sight, taste and smell. It could be a basket of Ontario peaches, a sample of apple butter at the local Williams Sonoma store, or a field exploding with fresh buckwheat flowers that reminds me of how sublime buckwheat flour is in pancakes. Then there was the farmer’s market wood carton of Delbard apples (they taste like strawberries and pears) which are as perfect for baking as they are for eating.
So you see, it’s not only finding time to bake but what to bake when you find the time! This month, I found myself adding and changing recipes a multitude of times until I (I thought) found the perfect quartet of recipes for you and then? I did an about face and wanted to make this the Great Pumpkin Issue of Betterbaking.com. Hence you’ll find more than the usual quartet of recipes this month simply because I couldn’t choose what to share with you. The free recipe is a gorgeous Cinnamon Scone.
October is not just the harvest month but I also think of it as the ‘gathering’ time. I rather like the notion of gathering. We gather the bounty of the fields and we also gather in or gather to us the people we love. But gather also means to collect ourselves. To gather yourself means to sit with stillness or some sort of arrival whether it is found in the pungent sun of an Indian summer afternoon, or that first frosty morning or that smell of wood fire. To sit with yourself is no easy task.
Time taken alone is not popular for most of us in this smart phone-scrolling world. I don’t even refer to time alone meaning meditation; I mean to actually sit and take stock, to take a breath. The dictionary defines gathering as in: to calm yourself or ‘to be’, to become calm and chill, relax, and then go forth once again. So, in that mood, I invite you to gather whether it be apples, recipes, people, or just time alone. And then go bake because the kitchen awaits!
Happy October and Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving, and as always, sweet times from my kitchen to yours,
October 2018 Recipes
Best Ever Tomato Tart
Country Apple Butter Scones
Gooey Pumpkin Cake
Free Double Cinnamon Schmear Scones (please remember the free recipe changes each month - once the month is gone, the free recipe page will reflect the current recipe of the month)
The Great Big Pumpkin Baking Patch Collection
Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Pumpkin Spice Muffins