One of my favorite months of the year (now that I’m out of school, of course). September used to be the worst month, because it meant the end of summer and going back to school. It’s my birthday month, so I always struggled between enjoying my birthday and dreading the return to school (is it Christmas yet?).
Now that I’m out of school, though, September is one of my favorite months. It’s my birthday, the weather is beautiful (at least, it has been here in Illinois), and there is tons of fresh produce at the farmers market.
What I loved this month
- The Woodstock Farmers Market – Everything seems to be in season this time of year. The farmers market is just a rainbow of colors, from the brightly hued heirloom tomatoes to the autumn-colored squashes. Summer and fall meld together at the farmers market, and I love wandering around discovering new types of produce. Edmonds Acres recommended kuri squash, and, I must say, it is delicious. Just scoop out the seeds, slice it, and roast it – no need to peel. I ate this basically non-stop last week; it was so good.
- Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheeze from Oh She Glows – This is one of my favorite vegan mac and cheese recipes. It’s creamy, flavorful, and super nutritious, since the sauce is mostly just pureed butternut squash. I added broccoli when I made it (just boiled some chopped broccoli with the pasta), but you can add any kind of green, or just eat as-is. This sauce lasted me for about four dinners, so it was a very quick meal once the sauce was made. I even spent two days on the sauce – roasted the squash one night and put together the sauce another night. If you’ve been hesitating to try vegan “mac and cheeze,” you should try this recipe. It’s not the same as macaroni with real cheese, but it’s delicious in it’s own way.
- The sunrise – We’ve had some very clear mornings this month, which are a pleasure for me because I am up early enough during the week to watch the sunrise (5:30 am). A few mornings have been foggy, which I almost enjoy even more. The fog envelops us in quiet softness; the sun rises slower on these mornings, and the fog reflects the gentle morning light. On these days, my long commute to work isn’t so bad. I sit on the east side of the train and stare out the window, watching the sun emerge from behind the trees as the train clatters to the city.
- 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami – I’ve had this novel for several years but have always been hesitant to read it because it looks so long (944 pages). My friend from work recently read it, however, and couldn’t put it down. I’d see her in the elevator, reading, and at lunch, reading. She finally inspired me to pick up this novel, and I’m so glad I did. If you haven’t read anything by Haruki Murakami, I would try one of his shorter novels first, to get used to his style (e.g. South of the Border, West of the Sun). 1Q84 kept me on my toes. This story doesn’t lend itself to a nice, succinct summary, and you shouldn’t expect to have all of the answers when you finish the novel (in my experience, Murakami never answers all of the questions). Just read it and enjoy the journey.
- Fitness Blender – I’ve been working out to Kelli and Daniel’s videos for almost a year now, and I finally decided to buy one of their programs, FB30. They have so many free videos on their website that buying a program isn’t necessary, but I always have trouble deciding which video to watch, and spend about ten minutes just choosing a workout. The program took that responsibility away from me, so I’ve been able to come home and do my 30 minute workout without any guesswork. I know that I’ll be challenged and work all of my muscles each week. I still have another week left of the eight-week program, and I’m already prepared to start it over again once I finish.
Have you tried any of these? What were your favorite things/food/moments from September?