We've only got another official month of autumn to go. It's all a bit sad, really because it really is such a beautiful time of year in Sydney.
It's the golden orange leaves that have my heart, actually. I never noticed them as much at the old house but here, autumn leaves have blanketed the front courtyard of our house for the entire season already.
I love the look of the leaves, the sound they make in the wind and, strangely, the satisfaction of sweeping them up each week. I share yard duties with my next door neighbour. She does the backs of our houses and we do the front sidewalks. I'm beginning to understand and treasure how much these little kindnesses mean in a neighbourhood.
Leaf Thursday has become a thing for Preschooler SSG and I this year and I hope we get to continue our tradition for many years to come.
A taste of autumn I'm definitely bringing with me into winter is cinnamon. I'm dusting it on everything at the moment. In my baking, on my baked oats, on my weetbix. Again it's that golden orange hue I love. Not to mention its distinctive warming fragrance. But did you know that there are different grades and species of cinnamon? Well, allow me to give you a potted history.
This all started when I started using my 300g mega bottle of ground cinnamon from Costco. I thought Saigon cinnamon sounded exotic but I was in for a treat when I opened the bottle. The scent was amazing. Heady and mellow it made the supermarket cinnamon I've been merely surviving on smell anaemic. In my baking, Costco's Saigon cinnamon hit the spot in away that again the supermarket versions could only dream about.
I've been researching Costco's brand of cinnamon and it seems that it's pretty pure with no added fillers, colourings or flavouring. The reviews on Amazon are pretty impressive and there's lots of useful information in the comments if you're interested. Cinnamon is associated with many health benefits including positive effects on blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, its role in anti inflammatory pathways and being cardioprotective. Plus it even tastes good!
Saigon cinnamon differs from that of Ceylon and the cassia types in that it has the highest concentration of cinnamaldehyde and another essential oil unique to the cinnamon species which is reflected in its higher price. There is the issue of coumarin levels (don't worry it's not the coumadin of warfarin fame) being highest in Saigon cinnamon but coumarin is found in many other foods naturally. From what I can gather in my reading, aim for less than a teaspoon of cinnamon per day to stay safe on the coumarin issue.
Autumn means the start of soup season for me. Always best served with a side of buttered white toast.
Not strictly autumnal but it seems to be this time of year that the chocolate brands decide to launch new products. Must be because it's a reasonable lead time until winter sets in and we all cocoon in our houses with comfort foods and ugg boots. I got both versions of Lindt's new Lindor flavour - coconut and dark chocolate.
Is cinnamon a favourite flavour of yours?