My version of autumn may be a little different than most across the states. For me the pivotal part of this change of seasons has always been, it is clearly THE best month for sunsets - October that is. Living seaside in So Cal, we don't see many trees change colors and the weather change is slight.
Aside from the change in daylight, one thing that does usually 'mark' autumn for me is canning. I usually can tomatoes and also apples with dried cherries. I'm not up to that activity this year. We did not have enough heat over the summer to support my rooftop square foot garden, which is 95% tomatoes - and which I usually preserve. I also usually preserve apples so I can readily make amazing apple pies for at least 6- 8 gatherings thru the year without much hoopla. We planned 2 trips to the apple farm and both days the plans blew up in flames - no apples for us yet. However, the need to "stash food" hit me as usual, like I am a squirrel or a bear that needs to store food (even though Trader Joe's is a 10 minute drive away either north, south or east - and open 7 days a week and one can wear flip flops everyday of the year, no snow or sleet to fight). So I decided to cook up some soups and freeze them to calm my need to stash food, so I could readily have some last minute dinners ready to go. These are the soups I included in this fall "stashing" project of mine:
- Tortilla Chicken, but they called it Mexican Lime from Epicurious
- Carrot Tomato(with farmers market tomatoes, not my own homegrown- bitter I am!) from SouleMama
- Broccoli Soup from Apples for Jam (not pictured)
- Curried Roasted Squash Soup from Sunset Magazine (not pictured)
I have thoroughly enjoyed these soups, the smell of the kitchen when I made these soups and most of all creating space in the freezer to store them all and seeing each time I open the freezer how much we have for the "winter". You may be conjuring up images of a bear storing food for their cubs - but to keep it real, here is the deal... I loved all the soups, the kids and the man - not so much. The tortilla chicken was a huge hit all around and the man asked to add it as a 'regular' in the line up. So I have a lot of soup in the freezer just for me, guess I will be having great lunches for sometime.
My favorite companions to these soups that I have been enjoying (alone) are:
- The Raw Green Bean Dip from Shivaya Naturals on carrots or snap peas
- These Squash Feta muffins from Martha Goes Green, that I found thanks to 101 Cookbooks (as far the the flour debate, I used 1 c. APF, 1/2 c. spelt flour and 1/2 c. almond meal and they were scrumptious)
- And a salad that a new friend I made at a party told me about - arugula or field greens, pomegrante seeds previously soaked in dill pickle juice, goat cheese - drizzled with truffle oil and a dash of sea salt. Add a slice of fresh pear if yo have them.
There are a few other signs that signify autumn around here, besides storing all kinds of crazy food we could easliy run to the store or farmers market for without having to turn on the 4 wheel drive....
The glass pumpkin patch on our city's main street today...
And the lights and banner streamer from some favorite autumnal fabrics across our living space...