Monday, September 18, 2006


Everybody's talking about it. Fall.
It's almost here, but of course, it's already here. Football. School. The new TV shows. That damn, perplexing pumpkin sun: hot one minute, ghostly the next.
I'm emotionally labile right about now, not only because I recently surged through a brain-busting bout of depression, but because this time of year — the changing of seasons — always does a number on me.
I love summer and really hate to see it go.
Summer 2006 was mean to me, though. A horrendous heat wave I think I'm still recovering from. That darned slide off the happy cliff. A regretable absence from the kitchen. The cruel death of my sole tomato plant.
So I decided to embrace fall. It's coming anyway; might as well jump in.
I'm looking at recipes for deep, earthy foods. Squash, the tail end of tomatoes, braises, even baked goods. I don't bake! But I might.
It's a delicious time of contradictions.
Read Shuna's compelling ode to Autumn here. She tells it much better.


Moonbear said...

What I enjoy about fall is the smell in the air in the early morning, and the feeling that I have a clean slate, a new teacher and another chance to get decent grades.
My garden is producing acorn squash and apples now. Got any good ideas?

cookiecrumb said...

How about a tart with goat cheese? I mean, of course, with apples and squash. And butter. And pie crust. Maybe even leeks or onions. Sage. Pepper.
When's lunch?!!
(I'm laffing at your new teacher reverie.)

Kalyn said...

The biggest laugh of all is how happy the teacher is to have new students. I hope fall will be a better season for you. A tart with goat cheese sounds fabulous.

mrs d said...

Well, there's always goat cheese stuffed patty pans. :-)

I hear you on the kitchen absense. Kitchen? What kitchen? Oh, yeah. We'll have one again soon. In time for chantrelle season. (Can't get much more deep & earthy than a big mound of sauteed chantrelles.)

Dagny said...

I was just saying today at work that in some ways I love when the weather cools down. So many soups and stews to make. That tart idea sounds great. I think I'd do it with the leeks.

In the meantime, I'm counting down the days until next fall -- when I get a new batch of students.

Tea said...

Give me a big mound of sauteed chantrelles and I'd be happy to kiss my tomatoes and basil good bye.

Well, after one more caprese I will.

I was sad about fall as well, then we got this great bout of Indian Summer and I'm thinking I won't mind it so much after all. Just give me another week or so of sunshine.

Vanessa had a great recipe for Kabocha Risotto that I'm looking forward to making again this fall.

Rebecca Hartong said...

I see I'm not the only person who loves goat cheese!

Roast baby carrots, halved brussels sprouts, and chunks of delicata squash in the oven for however long it takes them to get nice and brown. (Oh...about half an hour. First, you know, toss everything in some olive oil and salt and pepper.)

Dump the roasted veggies on top of a small pile of couscous (made with veggie broth.)

Put some crumbled up goat cheese on top.

Sprinkle a bit of pumpkin oil (if you can find it) on top of all of the whole works.


Moonbear said...

The tart was great! Thanks.

Kevin said...

Fall is my favorite food season. Here's a great buttercup squash soup recipe.

cookiecrumb said...

Kalyn: That's sweet, about having new students. I wish you a good fall too.

Mrs D: Ha! But I don't have a Chopper to make them for me. (Chanterelles... I'd snort in derision, but I'm too busy whimpering.)

Dagny: I love soups better than anything. I usually make loads of chilled vegetable soups during summer, but not this time. So, yes, warm, steaming soups are on the menu. (You mean you're already looking forward to *next* year's students?)

Tea: I've had squash risotto on my to-do list for ages. Thanks for the link. Enjoy the sun!

Rebecca: What a dreamy idea, easy and deep and rich. I'm a fan of your style of "recipe" writing, BTW. But -- pumpkin oil? Must find some!

Moonbear! Are you kidding us all? You sly thing. I hope you really did make one.

Kevin: Thanks. Would you believe I actually have your squash soup recipe bookmarked? I just checked; it's the identical link. Cute.

Moonbear said...

No no! Really! I made it. Check my blog!

cookiecrumb said...

Everybody go check Moonbear's blog. She's a dreamy woman and she really DID make that tart!

drbiggles said...

I just had fried chicken meal with mashed taters and gravy that left me feeling as though I had a 5 pound salt lick.
Is fried chicken a fall thing?


kudzu said...

Talk about reinforcement! Moonbear's tart via your inspiration is a great-sounding dish.

And to Biggles: fried chicken is an all-time, any-time thing.

Monkey Gland said...

I was picking figs and walnuts off the trees in the Tuscan twilight a week ago.That's autumn. I went into my local supermarket and the buggers were stocking the shelves with Christmas pudding. I've never been so depressed...

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Moonbear did me an honor! She obviously has more energy than I do; I'm still just theorizing about food.

Biggles: I think Kudzu's right, though I'm still hankering to make your crazy half stewed-half roasted chicken. I really want to link to it, but can't remember how to find it, so would you? xxx

Monkey Gland: Figs and walnuts in twilight. Ohgod, too idyllic. You hippie. I'm just as bummed as you over the rush to Christmas, fergodsake. I plan to languish in fall for the next few months, and I send you comforting autumnal thoughts.

shuna fish lydon said...

I think I might get into quince again this year. And apple pie. Back to basics. (thanks for the link!)

Pyewacket said...

I know it's fall when I start craving pumpkin lasagna. Instead of ricotta, use pumpkin puree, flavored with nutmeg and sage. The alternate layers get sausage and white sauce, though if you wanted to go all veg, wild mushrooms and sauce are pretty prosh, too. The pasta can be plain, or you can indulge in an appropriately flavored pasta (which I often do, because they can look so pretty, too).

I also like wild rice salad with crisp, fresh apples. Makes for a nice lunch.

Personally, I love fall. It's the only season in New England that offers truly marvelous weather. But it's so beautiful, we grit out teeth through the rest of the year just to experience those few perfect weeks...

cookiecrumb said...

Shuna: I made a primitive version of membrillo (got the inspiration from an early California/rancho cookbook) from the pathetic little rock-hard pomes that formed on my flowering quince! S'posed to be an ornamental plant, but I ate it, by golly.

Pyewacket: Pumpkin instead of ricotta. That's brilliant. Thanks for the idea. Wow.

KathyF said...

I don't like fall either. It's all about death.

But I love fall and winter food. Made some soup tonight. Yumm.

Anonymous said...

Hi KathyF: Ooh, death? Ew. (True, I'm watching plants go brittle in their pots on the patio...)
But. Soup! Soup is a vital fluid. I love soup.