Spiced Up


As we immerse ourselves in a season of comfort holiday foods, the spices change from hot and tangy to earthy and sweet. Combinations of fruits and savory foods delight the olfactory senses, and the brain does a kind of step-back from conventional to experimental. Why would this be? Or, rather, why only now are we more open to something different?

Baking squash and apples with spices like cinnamon and pepper and paired with garlic-onion beef is not disconcerting at this time because the rules seem to change with the weather. In the middle of the USA anyway, the dark becomes greater than the light, and to make up for this, and perhaps the cold temperatures, (though with highs still hovering around 80 these last weeks of October I can't claim that today!), we brighten our lives from inside the home. A warm and welcoming kitchen takes the place of gathering outside around the grill. Tree climbing and swings are replaced by board games and story-telling. Here we have little left to take us outside besides shoveling snow or bringing in more wood for the fire. Not a bad trade-off in my opinion, unless the cold lasts too long or goes too deep.

Now back to the question of 'why only now', Let me add in another one: What instigates the change, and the return back to convention again? Yes, it is a question I have and cannot answer. How about you? I can only think that there is some part of the brain or chemical therein which is set off by a reduction of sunlight stimulation, and that must unlock some of our inhibitions. What are your thoughts on these questions? I would like to know!


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