For me, more than at any other time of year, fall weather brings about a taste for certain types of foods. In September I start to have a craving for foods that seem to just go with the autumn season.
Potatoes fresh out of the garden before the main crop is dug and stored get gobbled up no matter how I fix them.
The weather is cool enough to think about oven meals again (yippee!) and baked squash (Red Kuri is my absolute favorite) with lots of salt, pepper and butter . . . mm-mmm, good.
Cabbage is a fall food. Red cabbage braised with a little caraway seed thrown in is wonderful.
A pan of muffins in the oven (with the squash?) will make the house smell wonderful. What kind? Pumpkin, raisin, corn, or applesauce . . . Cranberry-Orange Muffins are calling to my taste buds right now. Perfect with coffee in the morning or for brunch. Splurge this holiday weekend and have one with afternoon coffee break, too.
Got milk? Certain cookies taste better this time of year, don'tcha think? How 'bout Orange Pumpkin, Gingersnaps, Molasses Apple, Almond Cookies or good ol' Peanut Butter? What better snack for taking along on a fall hike in this beautiful, crisp weather.
Soups! Omigosh, fall is THE prime time for making big pots of homemade soup. Vegetable Beef, Potato, Bean, Pea, Chili, Minestrone, Chicken with Dumplings. The selection is endless.
There are desserts that are made for the fall months. Pumpkin Pie, Carrot Cake, Date Squares, Pumpkin Bars, homemade donuts and Gingerbread. And anything made with apples . . . Apple Pie, Apple Slices, Apple Crisp, Honey Apple Pan Cake, Baked Apples, Caramel Apples and applesauce.
What about main dishes? Casseroles! The smell of a good casserole in the oven permeates the whole house. How 'bout one with wild rice? Or Barley-Mushroom Casserole to go with my husband's choice for a main dish . . . meat loaf. Yup, he'd say meat loaf, and meat loaf, and meat loaf. He LOVES meat loaf! Accompanied by some of that baked squash, braised cabbage, and a few new potatoes from the garden . . . I could be talked into that.
Maybe the oncoming cool weather signals my body that I need something more substantial than the fruit, vegetable salads and lighter fare we've enjoyed all summer. At any rate, I'm feeling the urge to tie on my apron and do some good, old-fashioned harvest cookin'. Stand back, men, and let me at it!