Family of N

A Feast in September

Posted in Family, Food, Homeschooling by Laura on September 7, 2009


Photo by Sasakei / (Creative Commons License)

I love family traditions. When I was a child, my family took a vacation together every summer, and we visited grandparents every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The format was predictable but the adventures were fresh and exciting every time.

The Professor and I are homebodies more than my parents were. So as you would expect, our traditions are different — maybe a little less glamorous than a trip out West, but every bit as special.

Case in point: This week corn went on sale at every grocery store in our county. So for the third September since we’ve been married, we came back with ten ears of corn and made Ina Garten’s delightful cheddar corn chowder (more appropriately described as Gain Back Your Pregnancy Weight Soup). September is a great time to get fresh corn, and the soup is a comforting reminder that autumn is on the way.

If we had this soup regularly, I wouldn’t consider using half-and-half or a whole block of cheese or most of a slab of bacon in it. But for a once-a-year feast, we look the other way as we pour in the last few ingredients.

As I make plans to homeschool Savannah, one of the things that has appealed to me from (gasp) a method other than Charlotte Mason or classical has been the Waldorf idea of seasonal rhythms. I want to teach Savannah to experience each season fully — to shower herself in the summer sun, to jump in piles of many-colored autumn leaves, to tumble in the snow of winter, and to learn the cheerful songs of the birds in spring.

I also want our family to have traditions that celebrate the rhythm of the year. Corn chowder in September. Apple-picking in October. Turkey in November. Christmas cookies in December. All the year round.

There are books that have great ideas for seasonal traditions, but don’t you think it’s more fun to come up with your own?

“You’re going to post to the Blog? I thought the Blog was dead… You’re going to revive it?” — The Professor.

Never thought you’d be reading an undead blog, did you? 😉

4 Responses

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  1. Harmony said, on September 7, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I agree, seasonal rhythms really appeal to me. I recently went through our recipe book and divided our favorite recipes into Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. I did the same with our Korean recipes. Perhaps someday I will divide them further into months. For now, I at least have a general idea of what we’ll be eating for each season.

    I adore Ina Garten’s cheddar corn chowder. JunkMale isn’t quite as fond of it, but for once or twice a year, he doesn’t mind it.

    But something I discovered is that there’s an unhealthy recipe for each month of the year. Corn chowder in September, pumpkin pie with whipped cream in October, the Thanksgiving calorie fest in November, Christmas in December, eggnog in January, Valentine’s chocolate in February… on and on it goes. So as for me and mine, we generally stick to whole milk. Cream is for super special occasions. 😉

  2. JunkMale said, on September 8, 2009 at 6:42 am


    Eggnog should be an every-month recipe.


    • Harmony said, on September 8, 2009 at 4:55 pm


      That would be an excellent way for me to collect life insurance early.


  3. Laura said, on September 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    To each his own, I guess. I’m not quite as fond of the cheddar corn chowder, either, if it’s made without the cream and bacon and cheese. 😉

    Last year, our Thanksgiving was actually very healthy. We split the “feast” up into two or three meals — a roast chicken with Thanksgiving green beans and cornbread dressing, some Turkey dark meat (which I learned I don’t care for) with cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole (okay, *that* needs to be healthier this year), mashed potatoes, and corn.

    My thinking is that what’s unhealthy about Thanksgiving is having 11 Must-Have items to put on your plate. And one of them is extra-special so you get seconds of it, because you hardly got any the first time around for fear of overcrowding your plate. The dishes themselves are actually very healthy in general.

    This technique also has the side effect that it makes Thanksgiving last longer. 🙂

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