We did our usual trip to the farmers’ market, and then went to buy a football and go to one of the myriad pep rallies taking place in town, and then called out for pizza and watched the game on TV. This means that I had pastry for breakfast, free “brat” — a sort of hot dog — and soda for lunch, and pepperoni pizza for dinner. Even with the celery stalk I chose for dessert, this does not count as no simple carbs and no saturated fats, which is what I am supposed to eat. But a game day carries certain obligations with it. We may not dress in red or put flags on our car (although one does feel a little conspicuous here if one skips that step), but at least we do not eat lentil soup and cracked wheat bread on game day. In spite of our sacrifice, our team lost.

#1 daughter has been calling home for our family’s traditional fall recipes. She is in New York state, where they have apparently settled into fall. There were pumpkins at the market yesterday, and of course we are having football, but we are still only flirting with autumn here. So I haven’t made apple cake yet, but she has. I was surprised to learn from #2 daughter that #1 doesn’t actually like to eat this stuff — she is hoping her husband will — but just feels as though it ought to be made, since it is fall. When the sisters talked, #1 had a counterful of autumnal eats that she didn’t plan to eat.

Of course this surprised me. If nothing else, I didn’t know that she didn’t like those foods. What a well-brought-up girl she is, to be sure! On the other hand, it is not without precendent. I myself make Jell-O at major holidays, even though no one will necessarily eat it, simply because it dresses up the table. You can make Jell-O things in shapes and colors that fit your decorating theme far better than anything that would actually occur in nature. Here is the official website where you can find many highly decorative Jell-O recipes: http://www.kraftfoods.com/jello/main.aspx?s=&m=content_main  The odd thing about this site is that for quite some time, as it loads, the main thing on the page is “A message from our lawyers.” This adds a surprising air of danger to the experience. Or you could just go directly to the Gallery of Regrettable Foods (http://www.lileks.com/institute/gallery/index.html ), which features Jell-O largely. Actually, go there anyway if you have some time to kill. It is hilarious — sort of a narrow-focus art-history site with a bite.

Eating certain foods at certain seasons is what I was brought up with. I remember once waiting at an elevator with my grandmaman in the summer, when she smelled sauerkraut. It seemed to offend her that anyone would eat choucroute in the summer. That, she said, was an autumn food. Now, sauerkraut is, I know, a food that my family does not like — except for me. So I make it at some point in the fall anyway, knowing that they will complain. Surely I should not have to go through the entire year with no choucroute garni, merely because my family has this unreasonable distaste for it. And probably apple cake for dessert. Muah hah ha! (evil laugh)