Favorite Fall foods

Daylight is waning, the nights are nippy, and the leaves are blazing with color for their last hurrah.  It’s time for fall foods, local fall foods.  What am I finding in our farm market?

Today, I’m rushing back to buy up a couple dozen ears of the last of the corn, if they have that many left.  It’s occurring to me that I can freeze a bunch of this wonderfully crunchy sweet corn that I’ve been roasting in the oven lately.  It seems obvious, but after being so used to getting foods easily in the store, it takes a change of thinking on my part to not only eat more seasonally, but to preserve food for the winter.  I’m putting learning-to-preserve on my to-do list.

Beets–nutritious and full of fiber, they are scrumptious roasted with other root vegetables.  Or steam and slice in a marinade of balsamic vinegar and sea salt to add into green or potato salads.

Winter squashes, especially my favorite, Delicata–roast in the oven with a little water in the bottom and serve with a sprinkle of olive oil and manchego cheese.  So good!

Potatoes–stews, soups, roasted, pan fried with garlic in olive oil, steamed with butter and fresh chopped parsley, a real comfort food.

Walnuts–there’s nothing like cracking walnuts by the fire or baking an apple crisp with freshly picked walnuts.  I know Debra and Jon from Nuts About Berries Farm have a bumper crop this year.  And what a difference fresh walnuts are from the nuts that have been sitting in grocery stores that came from the previous year’s harvest or even further back.

Onions–sauteed or roasted or flavoring broths, I’d say onions are good in just about everything.

Garlic–roasted and spread on potatoes or crusty bread and butter, and from my Spanish mother-in-law comes the most satisfying, cold blasting soup using whole cloves from a whole head of garlic, braising in olive oil first, then adding chicken broth, thin sliced carrots, rice, and a small amount of cut up chicken.  The best medicine for a cold!

Pumpkins–for pie, what else?!  Making pie from real pumpkin is unbelievably good, fragrant and rich tasting.  Mmm, I can just smell the cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.  Is it Thanksgiving yet?

Apples–sauce, pies, crisps and cobblers, oh my!

Pears–for a real simple treat try baking them with a little cinnamon and cloves.

You can find these and other fresh local food at: Dinihanian’s Farm Market , Hillsdale Farmers Market, Portland Farmers’ Market, Nuts About Berries Farm, Hollywood Farmers Market, People’s Farmers Market.

I’m sure I’m missing some other great fall foods; what are your favorites?

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4 Responses to Favorite Fall foods

  1. Debra says:

    I just cooked up 3 pie pumpkins in the oven yesterday. I scooped out the flesh and split into 2 batches. First batch was used to make a Thai coconut pumpkin soup. I had frozen a few bags of Thai basil right at the end of its season a couple of weeks ago. (I put the leaves into the food processor with some olive oil. Then I freeze the ‘to become’ pesto in ice cube trays. When frozen I take out of the trays and put in zip lock bags and put back in the freezer.)
    I fried up one of the large Alsa Craig sweet onions then put it in the food processor with the pumpkin and blended all up. I put the mixture in a pan and re-warmed briefly. I dropped one of the basil cubes in and stirred to blend and defrost at the same time, then added 1/3 can of coconut milk. I put one medallion of goat cheese in the bottom of a bowl, poured the soup on top and them added another medallion to the top for color. It was really great!
    The second batch of puree went into the fridge for tomorrows soup. That will have a thick roasted chicken stock base, another sweet onion, a large bunch of minced fresh parsley and a couple of sorrel leaves from the garden.
    The basil cubes are very versatile for use out of fresh basil season. I have used them to spread on the bottom of a pizza crust, add to minced walnuts, garlic and parmesan cheese for a local style pesto, or pine nuts when I splurge. My kids cook soba noodles and add a cube to the top after they have drained the water off. There is enough heat to defrost the cube and mix it in. That is a tasty snack they know they can fix for themselves when necessary. The cubes have proven to be very versatile.

    • lorrainemt says:

      Mmm, this all sounds divine, Debra, especially the Thai coconut pumpkin soup! And basil cubes–what a great idea. I’d love to hear more about your recipes and ideas.
      Oh, and my guys are loving your sweet onions (which, unfortunately, I can’t eat.) Will you have some next week?

  2. Don’t forget to make corn stock with those cobs after you’ve sheared off the kernels! Just put them in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 min. and you’ve got a rich, corn-flavored stock for soups, chowders and risottos…think of a nice corn risotto studded with bacon and greens. Hm…making myself hungry again!

    • lorrainemt says:

      What a fantastic idea! And so timely too, because I’m just about to cut up all the corn this afternoon, and I love the idea of using as much of the produce as possible. Yesterday, I actually roasted up delicata squash seeds. Not quite as meaty as pumpkin seeds, but hey, anything baked with olive oil and salt is tasty in my book. Corn risotto studded with bacon and greens–yum! I’m looking forward to getting more recipes and food ideas from your blog. Thanks for stopping by.

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