It’s been chilly the last few days, especially in the morning. We call these days crisp, say we are experiencing a full-on Indian summer. This time of year a dusting of windshield frost evaporates as the sun comes up,

our parkland sky deepens in color to a dense rich royal blue, and the leaves take on the magical colors of fall by some mystical autumnal wizardry. Our summer sun is still warm as it wanders away and leaves us with days so short we adjust our clocks to compensate for our delusion of managing time. We call it daylight savings time. It’s kind of like anti gravity boots–it changes nothing, but lets us feel in control.

It is a time of languid pausing, an extended moment of pleasurable anticipation as if atop a colossal roller coaster slowed to imperceptible pause before the first spectacular drop.  

To winter.  

You know this drop is going to happen, but you still scream on the way down.  Every time.  We know through experience that it is old man winter’s creaky steps we hear on the floorboards of our collective memory, yet when he does show his face, we will be shocked. It is the mere reflection of his craggy countenance we see in the daily details, that harbinger of icy grip and biting cold just ahead.

We will not really be surprised when old man winter jumps out at us with his craggy face and icy grip, rattling us again with a blizzard-y BOO!  But we will be shocked. And we will scream–silently.

It’s time for a joint.  I come home from a full busy day of questions and sticky knotted problems to the smell of a joint in progress from my kitchen.  It is a smell that rolls richly from the back of the stove as I inhale deeply at the front door, before I set down my bag of sticky knots, and think, ‘I can’t remember the last time we sat down to a really good joint.’

The table was set simply. 

I recall my friend Gillian from Edinburgh cooking a joint in her fall kitchen.  

This one is a slow roasted knuckle of Hereford with jiggly marrow in the centre of a bone as big as a softball.  I am called upon to carve it in manageable meat slices, but not before the rich marrow is slathered on a piece of well toasted whole grain, a languid sensual pleasure pause before the real meal.  The roasted vegetables and potatoes glistened their way out of the pot, soon to be enrobed in gravy.

A joint, my fall favorite. Old man winter can wait on the back porch…not welcome in this joint.

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