Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Enjoying the Season Day Five

Week One: Preparing Our Homes for the Season
Day 4 Turn on your Senses - A Taste of Fall

In my first entry for this series I encouraged to get your fall inspiration started by activating your gut...

"You can't follow your "gut" instincts in decorating and planning until your gut is activated. Have a mug of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick stir stick, and maybe some sweet treat too while you peruse your magazines and books. (i Know that's the second time I suggested food and drink - I'm part Greek, can't help it)"

I truly believe that we were designed as holistic beings. Our designer made us respond to (and therefore be vulnerable to the effects of) a variety of different things and one of those is our sense of taste. I'm going to ask you to look elsewhere for inspiring recipes and things that would tempt you. I love to cook but rarely follow recipes, and rarely write down how I produced something so I'm no help there. However, I do love to look through cookbooks in the fall, especially slow cooker meals. I'm sure you've already got lots of cookbooks, so I send you to pull those out and get inspired...

My dad was a chef and I only remember a few of the bites of wisdom in the kitchen that he shared, but one of them was this... when you are cooking, pick up different ingredients and ask yourself "would a bite of these taste good together in my mouth without doing much to them?" If the answer is yes, then they'll work in the pot. He also said not to be afraid of herbs and spices and salt - seasoning's are supposed to highlight what's already in there. If you can't taste what you started with, you've used too much :) Such simple insights.

For example:

Succulent slightly salted Roast Beef + Coffee + Sweet Root Veggies Roasted with Caramelized Onions = perfection

Oven Roasted Apples + Cinnamon/ cloves, brown Sugar + Toasted Oats + dulche de leche = bliss

Winter Squash roasted with Nuts & spices mashed together + broth + aromatic veggies + whipped cream cheese = no soup left in the pot

You'll have a really hard time failing at this method but it does require imagination and knowing what good food tastes like in it's simplest form.

On the other side of this issue of taste...

I find it fascinating how I've been able to take so many of those words of wisdom in the kitchen from my dad and been able to apply them to so many other areas of life.

Take for example the thought of "would those things taste good together?" I actually apply it to design elements with colour. I love trying new colour combinations, and have often come up with combos I love long before the "trends" come out in magazines. IAdd Image loved turquoise and brown and pink and brown long before they were popular, In fact, some friends and family at the time were like "umm, I don't know about that...". I stuck with it anyways, and then moved on to new things while the rest of the world followed the trend.

Also, the part about the seasoning... sometimes we "over dress" our homes. If you've invested in great "bones" like hardwood floors, crown mouldings, wood railings, paint, tiles and basic furniture pieces - let them shine, don't clutter them up with so much "stuff" that you can't appreciate the natural beauty already in the space. Sometimes its as simple as highlighting how the sun shines through a particular window...

Sometimes I end up feeling a little alone and like I've taken a "risk", which is uncomfortable. For example this year with my deep red, purple and mossy green colour combo in the living room...and then adding orange to it.

I try to listen to that inner voices' first "yes - I like this!" before I let my brain talk myself out of it because it's not "normal". What is normal really? Sometimes trusting your own tastes is lonely or uncertain, but you will never experience the thrill of trusting your gut, if you don't try it out and stick with it long enough to fall in love with it.


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