An Autumn journey

October

In this month the landscape painter is forced to change his palette entirely. Similar to the musician who must transpose the violin theme down to the bass key when the hero declines, in order to better stick to the maturity of the drama, the painter changes blue into grey, green into Siena clay, golden yellow into ox blood. (…) Owing to a broader mimetic process, the whole Europe takes on the colors of its game. (…) The mornings beloved by the early Dutch painters, the afternoons of the 19th century French landscapists; when the real poet goes out hunting without his gun, so to say, to kill time.

The sun-set comes, those calm grey October sun-sets. That heartbroken sense of nobility and pride that takes us aback while standing on a ship’s deck or along Piazza di Spagna, urges the dreamer away from the cities to the countryside, full of shadows, as under the aisles of a church.

(…) And the vintage goes on.

(From I Mesi, by Fabio Tombari, Ottobre).

Talking about vintage, grapes and grapevines, let me introduce you to the “pane dei morti”, the dead’s bread, a typical October/November cake connected to the festivity of All Saints. It’s a moderately sweet bread with must, almonds and walnuts.

I like the idea of using must to bake cakes. It sounds ecological (no waste from vintage!), traditional and – being today Monday (a rainy Monday!) – it prevents me from feeling blue (yes, Fabio Tombari was right, in October the whole Europe takes on the colors of its game, and my mood in this month has an insane tendency to shift from dark grey to light grey with all the nuances in-between!).

Let’s cheer up: if Autumn comes, can Winter be far behind? Oops (Shelley wouldn’t be too happy about my murdering his lines; but then again, I bet he would forgive me: after all it’s a rainy October Monday morning…)

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