Harvest Reflections - Sept. 24, 2012

On the one hand, it is hard to believe that autumn is here; on the other, as we wake up to the dark skies and feel briskness in the air, we know it is a fact.

Just as the squirrels are gathering their food for the next season, we will be collecting the last remnants of our vegetable gardens for canning or freezing, to keep a taste of summer in our meals throughout the upcoming months.

Mr. Webster provides a couple of definitions for the word harvest:

Harvest:  1 the time of the year when grain, fruit, vegetables, etc., are reaped and gathered in; 2 the outcome of any effort.

Does this mean that even those of us who have never set foot in a garden can be referred to as harvesters? Absolutely. If we scrutinize the outcomes of any of our latest endeavors, we will uncover our personal harvests. I believe to be viewed as a true harvester, we need also to see if the results are as good as we envisioned, and review the environmental variables (for example, did weather, timing, or lack of attention to detail have an impact on the final result?).

A true harvester wants to learn from the year’s shortfalls and starts planning now for the next planting. In fact, some will even begin experimenting today with possible variations to ensure better bounty.

A lot of us harvesters have been working toward similar goals: getting healthier, becoming more active, getting more organized, slowing down, improving in a hobby (be it tennis, golf, sewing, crocheting, cooking, rolling pennies), sticking to a project until it’s completed.

When asked about our progress in any of these areas, we might shrug and say, “Well, the weather hasn’t been cooperating,” or “I haven’t had enough time to concentrate on it.” I think it all comes down to two key questions: What’s the bounty worth to you? What are you willing to do to make it real? A true harvester will work night and day. We sometimes voice our wants but don’t follow through with the determination to do whatever it takes. Our best intentions can be plowed under pretty deep when we ignore them or give in to the traps that lie in our path. How badly do we want to reap the rewards of our efforts?

The richness of our personal harvests is up to us. With some perseverance, the rewards could be great. Let’s not watch from the sidelines as others reap the benefits of harvesting exactly what they planned because they stayed focused on the end result and were willing to make it happen. Let’s step out from the sidelines and take our place of honor.

Let’s go for it!

 Apple Pie Sundaes

Weight Watchers Recipe


Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

Serves: 6

Vanilla ice cream is topped with spiced, cooked apples and crumbled cookies. A fun twist on apple pie.


                4 large Granny Smith apple(s), peeled and diced (about 6 cups)  

                2 Tbsp dark brown sugar  

                2 Tbsp water  

                1 tsp fresh lemon juice  

                1 tsp ground cinnamon  

                1 pinch ground allspice  

                1 pinch table salt  

                2 cup(s) light vanilla ice cream  

                12 item(s) vanilla wafer(s)  


        In a medium saucepan, toss apples with sugar, water, lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves; cover and cook until apples are softened and sauce has thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Spoon 1/3 cup ice cream into each of six small bowls; top each with 1/3cup apples and 2 coarsely crushed cookies. Yields 1 sundae per serving.



Asian-Inspired OnePointsPlusValue Soup

Makes 12 servings

PointsPlus™ value