I’ve written pretty extensively about my disdain for/mistrust of autumn, but yet here I am, in the waning weeks of September, actually eagerly anticipating the return of chilly nights and fuzzy socks. 

Why?

Well, look, I contain multitudes, OK?

And two things happened last week that made me ready to turn the next calendar page.

The first one happened in a staff planning meeting, when we were discussing how nice it was to be having a normal year where things actually went to plan after all of the pandemic craziness and disruptions. 

“And this year,” said my coworker (who is relatively new to the city), “we haven’t even had a hurricane!”

I screamed – and I wasn’t the only one. 

“DON’T SAY THAT YET!” all of the superstitious natives screamed in one voice. (I would yell the same thing at someone who said, with 5 seconds left in a Saints game and us up by 56 points, “Looks like we’ve won this one!”)

And sure enough, the next day, we started hearing about Invest 98, which is now Hurricane Ian. (I’m definitely keeping Cuba and Florida in my thoughts.)

So OK, fine. If fall means we can take a deep cleansing breath regarding hurricane season, bring it on.

The second thing that happened is that my friend proposed a Bread & Soup Party. In her mind, it was an “If you build it, they will come” sort of scenario in which she would cook autumnal foods in the hopes that autumn would arrive to greet us. In my mind, it was an excuse to eat bread and soup. 

I will eat bread and soup any time of day, any time of year. Sourdough. Leidenheimers. Crusty baguette. Naan. Pita. Gumbo. Gazpacho. Beef stew. Broccoli cheddar. Posole. There’s not much that could be even loosely classified as bread- or soup-adjacent that I don’t like.

I don’t happen to think soup or bread taste any better when it’s cold outside … but I do have to admit it’s a lot less fun to bake bread in a 425 degree oven when it’s also approximately 425 degrees outside. 

And so here we are. It’s late September. I’m eating a bowl of leftover minestrone with a toasted slice of the caramelized onion-garlic-herb spiral loaf I made yesterday. I’m wearing a sweater. I put pumpkin-spice creamer in my coffee. And I’m counting down the days until hurricane season is over while looking up new recipes for soup and bread. 

Fall can’t get here fast enough.