"Autumn suits you perfectly," a friend of mine wrote to me the other day when she saw photos from my everyday walks into the woods. Since the beginning of the season, I can't get enough of the simple beauty that surrounds me wherever I go – from the gorgeous golden colours of the leaves to the perfectly shaped squashes in the garden, raised from seeds, ready to be picked. The seasons change so effortlessly, without prompting that if I am not paying close attention, I might overlook all the wisdom the earth is offering to me each and every moment. 
I believe no other season teaches us so many profound lessons about life than fall does. And as I approach into a deeper season in my own life, I believe Autumn is my season. 
Knowing that each season is a journey of change and personal growth in preparation for another season in life, I feel that now I am right here where I would like to be, willingly trusting and appreciating the experience of the moment, letting life be life. 
I love the autumnal gentleness in the air, those misty rainy days when I can sit at home and watch the pearls of raindrops caught on golden leaves shining like crystals on the poetic light, unafraid of falling. A book in my hands. A blanket over my feet. An aroma of sage and butternut puree from the kitchen. A feeling of being warm, comforted, calm and sheltered. There is real beauty in ordinary life, in taking the living slowly and making space for the change.
In a wonderful essay, The Beauty Of the Ordinary, Pico Iyer reminds us of the autumn's special, golden lesson – "to cherish everything because it cannot last". "Autumn days," he writes, "are reminders of how much we cannot afford to take for granted, and how much there is to celebrate right now."
The older I get, the more I am in tune with this wise, golden, ordinary Autumn. 
I am completely open to the enduring lessons of the falling leaf. To learn humility and resilience from its ending. To cultivate an attitude of respect and gratitude. To see the magic in the little things. To stay whimsical and ordinary at the same time... 
In nature's timeless forms, I contemplate that nothing lasts forever and perhaps, the art of life lies in its ephemerality. I find this liberating. 









Squash, Sage & Gorgonzola Tart

Ingredients:

pie dough
heaping 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt and pepper
5 tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
ice water
 •(you can use your favourite pie crust recipe)

filling
250 g butternut squash puree (homemade); 1 butternut squash
2 tsp oil oil
1 generous cup heavy cream
175 or more Gorgonzola cheese
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
sage
salt and pepper


Directions: 

Cut the butternut squash in half, crosswise through the stem, scoop out the seeds and strings. Place cut-side up on a baking sheet, brush the butternut squash with olive oil and bake for 30-40 minutes until browned and very soft. When cool, discard the skin and mash the squash in a bowl.

Lightly grease a 9-inch/22-cm tart pan.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt and pepper. Add the butter and using a pastry blender process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add ice water just enough to bring the dough together. Turn out onto a floured counter and roll out the dough about 3 inches/8 cm larger than the pan. Carefully lift the dough into the pan and press to fit. Roll the rolling pin over the pan to neaten the edges and remove the excess dough. Fit a piece of parchment paper into the tart shell, fill with pie weights or dried beans, and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Bake the pastry shell with the weights for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the weights and paper.  Return to the oven for about 5 minutes.

Mix the mashed squash and half the cream, season with salt, pepper and sage and spread in the pastry shell. Slice the cheese and spread it on top. Whisk the remaining cream with the eggs and the egg yolk and pour the mixture into the tart pan, making sure it settles evenly.  Arrange sage leaves in a circle on the surface and bake for about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes in the pan before serving. 

ENJOY!