All this talk of an Indian summer got me thinking...where does the term originate? For some reason I always assumed it was some kind of hark back to colonialism. However, it turns out that the likely reference is Native Americans. It describes a spell of warm, hazy autumn conditions that allowed Native American Indians to continue hunting. The phrase certainly appears to have been first used in the eastern United States. The first recorded use appears in a letter written by a Frenchman called John de Crevecoeur dated 17 January 1778. In his description of the Mohawk country he writes "Sometimes the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warm which is called the Indian summer." (courtesy of metoffice.gov.uk)
Anyway, whatever the source, it certainly is a treat so lets all enjoy it! Soup in the sun anyone?
This week we are offering a scrummy spiced carrot & sweet potato variety. This also got me wondering (...you can tell the kids are back at school because I have the capacity to think again) why is spicy food so prevalent in hotter climates? Obviously the spices themselves grow well in the heat but there must be more to it than that? On further research I discovered that the spices trigger an increase in the metabolism, which raises the body’s temperature a little bit. This causes sweating as a mechanism for cooling off. In addition, although hot weather suppresses appetite spicy food stimulates it. This maybe explains why I'm not tempted by a salad today but will happily eat my way through a madras? Or perhaps I'm just greedy. Who knows?
Anyway, that's enough thinking done for me! Back to the cooking. I have a super roasted Mediterranean vegetable quiche packed full of peppers, red onion, tomatoes, courgettes and even artichoke hearts. Why not treat yourself?
Have a wonderful week everyone :)