I’m thrilled to have Janice Carter join me here on the Harlequin Heartwarming Authors Blog. Janice and I have a lot in common, including our nationality. O Canada! This means we’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving (Monday, October 10th) so we’ve decided to share some of our fall family traditions and a recipe that’s a new twist on an autumn classic. Over to you, Janice.
It’s a windy and chilly day as I write this post the last full week of October. Yesterday I briefly considered rummaging in my closet for my winter coat but the part of me that is in denial about winter’s approach held me back. I’m just not ready yet! I’ve never been a fan of winter even as a child. Growing up in southwest Ontario, Canada that led to many challenges once November kicked in. No, I don’t want to go skating. Can’t we play inside today, Mom? Excuse the weak pun, but it’s not cool being a sissy about winter here.
Yet I do love October, as ominous as the month can be. The bounty of the harvest, the brilliant foliage and even the slightly crisp nights when the moon is full and close to earth. So given my ambivalence about winter, why do I welcome October? I think for me the month is all about traditions connected with holidays and cultural folk lore. Canadian Thanksgiving, arbitrarily chosen as the second Monday in the month, is a big one for our family because we celebrate the holiday at our cottage on Garden Island, in the St. Lawrence. The whole community gathers on the Saturday night in the sail loft for a pot luck feast and every year we try to out-cook one another or keep people guessing—“who made that pear and parsnip casserole?”
|Community Thanksgiving celebration on Garden Island|
|Pumpkin carving competition on Garden Island|
Ah yes, maybe I’ll give that winter coat an airing today—in preparation.
Like Janice, I’m not a fan of winter but here on the West Coast, I’m bracing for the season in a different way, umbrella and rain boots at the ready. October has had its share of wet and windy days, but November is typically our wettest month. Luckily, the sombre skies and dreary days are offset by a landscape that stays green all year round. I can harvest kale and Swiss chard in December, and by January we look forward to the appearance of crocuses and snowdrops.
Didn’t you love Janice’s description of her community’s Thanksgiving celebration? At my house, the holiday is much more of a low-key affair. I spend a lot of time planning the menu and working on centerpieces. For the table, my inspiration started with an artichoke from the produce market. To that I added springs of bay and Sedum, and arranged them in a vintage milk glass footed bowl. I have now dried the organic bay leaves are organic and they’re in my pantry, awaiting winter soups and stews.
|Artichoke and bay leaf centerpiece|
|Squash and laurel leaf centerpiece|
|Desiree Nielsen's Spiced Pumpkin Tart (photo used with permission)|
While not looking forward to winter, I am eager for the release of my first Heartwarming, sometime in early (I hope!) 2017.
And I’m excited to share the cover of my January 2017 release, His Best Friend’s Wife, the second book in The Finnegan Sisters trilogy.
Thank you so much for joining us today. Until next time, happy reading!
Janice & Lee