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Autumn Leaves Playlist

Autumn Leaves
PLAYLIST

There is a change in the wind that happens come September. I think the trees are the first to recognize the chill and they respond accordingly. I respond by collecting songs that depict this season’s change from the heat of summer to the cool of autumn. 

Autumn Leaves • Nat “King” Cole
Autumn Serenade  • John Coltrane
Great Pumpkin Waltz • Vince Guaraldi
Forever Autumn • Moody Blues
I See Darkness • Johnny Cash
Leaves that are Green • Simon & Garfunkel
Autumn Shade • The Vines
Last Days of Summer • The Cure
Autumn in New York • Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
The Boys of Summer • Don Henley
Sun it Rises • Fleet Foxes
Autumn Leaves • Ed Sheeran

Recipe: Banana Bread with Chocolate

To me the taste of fall is found strongly in sweet breads- dense and wonderful loaves of pumpkin or zucchini or banana. The smell of them baking in the oven can make a house into a home.

This banana bread recipe is one that Betony often makes come autumn. And the warmth of a slice provides great contrast against the continuing crisping days of September. Enjoy.

Makes 1 loaf

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt
(not low or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F.
Grease a 9-by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. Melt the butter on the stove or in a microwave and set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.
6. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing. The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to protect from freezer burn. This is great eaten warm out of the oven, but also delicious grilled in a skillet on both sides with some butter. Yum.

September Poetic Intro: Brave

Our Almanac theme for this month is “brave”. Since September holds beginning of the fall and school and new projects after summer it lends itself to a need for courage.

 

BRAVE

September is a courageous leap

into the trial,
the unknown,
the new
all the unexpected that

demands an answer

of courage
and bravery

After this harvest, this last run
the days will begin to shorten

And the adventure of fast days and darker hours
found in this crisp autumn
will require your best energies

Just remember

that which quickens your pulse
reminds you best
of how alive you truly are