I’ve read and heard several folks lately talking about how much they love fall. Well, I must admit, I enjoy it, but fall is not my favorite season. Oh, I love the crispness in the air, the crunch of the leaves, the anticipation of the approaching holidays, but I have to say that I always feel a bit bereft when autumn rolls around because it signals the end of my two favorite seasons, spring and summer!
When we lived in
Having grown up in the south without air conditioning til I was in high school, I just got used to the heat. I actually enjoy a 90 degree day and somehow, don’t really wilt all that much in the humidity…well, yeah, my hair does, but I don’t really feel that bad! I have been known to enjoy a good sweaty, sticky day of work in the hot sun. Maybe it's the ice cold lemonade afterwards that I love the most, but whatever it is, I am definitely a spring and summer kind of girl.
I do, however, love the harvest abundance of this time of year and I like fall food. Just the other day, Joel and I tackled the tangle of tomatoes that had overgrown their terrace beds. We pulled them all out even though they had lots of green tomatoes on them. The red ones we’ll eat and the green ones will go into green tomato chutney. We also harvested lots more peppers and even a couple of cucumbers. I bought pumpkins, butternut squash, and delicious winesap apples at the local farmer’s market on Monday and have already made pumpkin bread and a favorite butternut squash recipe which I’ll share below.
And since I now live back in the south, I do relish the fact that fall doesn’t mean the end of the growing season and I can plant pansies, snapdragons, spinach, kale, collards, and mixed greens in my newly cleared terraces and continue harvesting and enjoying the garden all winter long.
The "veggies" of Joel's labor!
Beth’s Adaptation of Chilean Squash (yes, another old Moosewood recipe)
Cut a butternut squash in half, place in a 9x13 pan with a little water in the bottom of the pan and bake at 350 til soft.
Slice 2 onions, 3 or 4 peppers of any color (red, yellow, green, even purple) and sauté in a little olive oil in a large skillet. I use my huge cast iron skillet for this.
Add 1 Tablespoon chili powder, salt to taste and a bunch of fresh cilantro. Stir all together over medium heat, being careful not to let it stick.
Add 1 can corn kernels.
When the squash is cooked, scoop it out and add to the skillet mix. Stir all together and let heat through.
Serve with sharp cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.
What I like to do is cook the squash a day ahead and store it in the fridge in a Ziploc. While the onions and peppers are sautéing, I scoop out the cool squash. Easier to handle that squash just out of the oven. This dish is really good with greens and cornbread...but then I think most things are good with greens and cornbread!