it’s these waning and waxing autumn nights that keep me inebriated with the arrival of season and sensation. in the daylight i consider the possibility that we are plummeting into a state of suspended animation. the wind lives and dies. my focal point is of a landscape fawny and withering – although romantic and on the slight verge of obsession. come night i let the cool air swim through me. i leave the windows open and listen to my neighbors do the same: the tremulous pitch of a woman’s voice, a record player reacting to a man’s emotions, the nocturnal advice of wildlife, and the widowed moon in silence.
we are practicing ritual and sanity indoors. considering the fundamentals. i’ve been spending less time speculating about life and more time engaging in the outcome. the autumn is an influential segment of time to provoke reset. i remind myself that life is porous and absorbent of intervention. the sun will burn the next horizon no different than the last.
i cannot help but occupy the time with activities that mirror warmth and affection – the mulling of cider seems ever appropriate in and out of these windows. bring your apple cider to heat with a gathering of spice and herb. it’s not necessary to boil on high, and you don’t need a terribly long time-frame to achieve a satisfyingly steeped concoction. quince is a unique presence this time of year and imparts a floral note to the cider – i do recommend it. and on a quick note, perhaps one to help ease you in – try adding some white wine into the cider for the last five or ten minutes.
here’s a song
- 1 gallon of pure apple juice, or fresh apple cider
- 2 quince, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
- 1 4-inch sprig rosemary
- 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks + more for garnish
- 4 star anise
- 1 tsp allspice
- pinch of nutmeg
- combine cider, quince, rosemary, cinnamon, star anise, allspice, and nutmeg in a large saucepan and bring to a low boil.
- prick the pointed ends of the cloves into the orange and add to saucepan. reduce mixture to a soft simmer for 25-30 minutes. serve warm.