Autumn, more than any other time of year, makes me think of and crave good food. Maybe it's because I've had next-to-no time to spend in the kitchen all summer (except for canning and preserving, of course) and my need for some home-cooked meals has surfaced with a vengeance. (Could this contribute to the fact that, just like a hibernating bear, I could easily put on a layer of insulating fat for the winter?)
Cool weather allows me the luxury of concocting all-in-one oven meals which fill the house with tantalizing aromas creating a warm, welcoming, cozy (not to mention mouth-watering) atmosphere when we come in from working on outside fall chores.
Maybe that's why I made a pot roast and vegetable casserole last Sunday. We aren't big meat eaters; I tend to use meat more as a flavoring rather than plopping a ham, or roast, or whole chicken on the table for the two of us. But sometime last Saturday, the vision of a well-browned and seasoned pot roast came into my head so Sunday morning found me prepping one for the oven. When hubby and I sat down to our meal late that day, I'm sure it would have been downright embarrassing to have had recorded our near ecstatic moans, groans and sighs of pleasure when feasting on that luscious piece of grass-fed beef! Although we didn't make much of a dent in the medium-sized roast, the leftovers will go a long way in soups, BBQ on buns, pot pies, etc.
I could go on and on regarding fall foods. The list that appeals to me this time of year is endless.
That first batch of homemade caramel corn. Cannot stop eating it. Somebody please put it under lock and key. And hide the key. Please.
Time to make the first loaves of my mom's fruitcake. Lace it with brandy and tuck it away in a cool, dry cupboard to age.
Apples! Oh my. Can we have too many apples? Apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, apple cake, baked apples, taffy apples, apple slices on a hike.
And what says harvest time more than pumpkin? Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin-blueberry bread, pumpkin-orange cookies, and pumpkin pie!
Even some vegetables taste better this time of year. Hot buttered beets, baked squash slathered with butter, salt and pepper, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, carrots, potatoes and something I don't make often enough . . . corn fritters.
Although we eat a lot of soups year 'round, can you beat potato soup made with potatoes just dug, scrubbed and cooked with their skins on? Vegetable-beef soup (with some of the meat from that leftover pot roast), chili, bean or pea soup made with a ham bone and chunks of leftover ham.
When one of those oven meals is cooking, I love to mix up a pan of gingerbread to bake in the oven at the same time. For dessert top it with a mound of freshly whipped cream . . . sooo yummy.
I could go on with my list (I really could) but there are things I need to get done today rather than gaining virtual poundage by blathering on about my special food cravings that seem to arrive each year with the falling leaves and drop in temperature.
As far as I'm concerned, fall is a good time to be in the kitchen cooking with nature's harvest . . . and eating it!
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