Falling for Fall

October 13, 2014

Fall is one of the reasons that I love living in New England. It is my favorite time of year and it goes by much too fast.

Nothing but the hand of Divine intervention could splatter such vivid and fantastic foliage colors of red, gold and rust in such sweeping broad strokes across a wide swath of landscape. It makes me thankful for the gift of living in such a beautiful, natural place. And no matter where I travel to experience other places of beauty and wonder, there is nothing more sacred to me than coming home and saying to myself, “never leave your personal paradise.”

Fall is my signal to “settle in for the season.” I look forward to crisp days with brilliant sunshine and chilly nights that call for bulky sweaters and lighting a fire where I can cozy up next to the crackling sounds of the logs and get lost in some novel or food magazine.

Cooking takes on more significance in my kitchen in the fall too. I still use my grill until the snow begins to fall, but I gravitate to making heartier oven cooked meals. Everyone has favorite go-to recipes that come out season after season that define our cooking.

For me, fall is for crusty casseroles oozing with cheese or for simmering bean and vegetable soups permeated with the flavor of a ham bone. Fall is for juicy pot roasts cooked in wine and perfumed with neatly tied bunches of herbs. Fall is for kitchen sink stews that can cook unattended in a slow cooker, crock-pot or just in a favorite pot on the back burner. Served with crusty potatoes or smooth as silk mashed potatoes, stews are quintessentially fall food.

Fall is also for fruits like pears and apples nicely nestled in green salads or turned into poached or baked fruit just right with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Fall is for baking cookies and breads, for pies and cakes and anything else that would go with a cup of steaming tea on a late autumn afternoon. Fall steadies us and readies us for shorter days and longer nights and for the chance to slow our pace and make a place for all that really matters.

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