new.

I could get used to this weather.

I love the cool breeze coming through the window, the need for a duvet at night, and pulling out a beloved old cashmere cardigan to walk my daughter to school in the mornings.

I love that this feels like the beginning of autumn, which is my favourite season for a number of reasons, not least of which is the sense of redemption and renewal I feel at this time of year. When the sky is this particular shade of blue, the one that I see looking out my kitchen window right this minute, I feel like I can do anything.

And I am especially excited to get my running shoes on and hit the road.

Although my plan to literally run my ass off this summer was derailed by extreme heat, too many parties and far too much wine, the temperatures in our city these days have lent themselves quite nicely to exercising outdoors. In weather like this, I feel like I could run and run and run.

Not that I am doing that, exactly.

Among other things, I am working on a recipe for homemade poutine.

And watching these girls, whom I find inspiring on so many levels, over and over and over:

And just this morning, while my daughter was at school I could have been running, I made this cake with my son. It was our first time baking just the two of us, and it was delightful. It felt like the two of us could do anything together.

It felt like the beginning of something wonderful and new.

Pear and Gingerbread Cake for New Beginnings
adapted from Gourmet magazine

Thank heavens for my back-issues of Gourmet, which are endlessly inspiring. Although I should warn you, this came from the “Quick Kitchen” section, and grating enough fresh ginger to get a quarter of a cup is anything but quick. I’m just saying.

1 1/2c whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
1/2c unsalted butter
1/4c water
1/2c packed brown sugar
1/2c molasses
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4c grated peeled ginger root
2 medium pears

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Melt butter and water together over low heat.

Using an electric mixer, beat together brown sugar and molasses. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in flour mixture at low speed until just combined. Stir in vanilla and ginger.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Peel pears if desired (I didn’t) and cut into small pieces. Scatter over batter.

Bake in centre of the oven until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.

Cool slightly before turning out onto a rack to cool some more.

May be served warm, with whipped cream, or cold, in the early morning, with a hot cup of coffee.

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