I See You, Autumn
Autumn comes slowly and gently here in Carmel Valley. I can feel it, that’s for sure…I’m a little wistful, a little more moody. The light is more subtle, with the camel colored hills providing a soft background to the dark green oaks.
But here and there, there are hits of color—like our neighbor’s Japanese maple with its pinkish red, and our Chinese Pistache tree with its pinkish orange. Our plum and apple trees are also trying to do their best, with a few leaves just starting to turn orange and yellow.
And then there are the pumpkins. Ah, yes. Our local Earthbound Farms has a pumpkin display that enchants both children and adults. So for this week’s post, I present you with some pumpkin patch photos. As Henry David Thoreau said, “I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
♥On My Bookshelf: Food for Thought
I’m rereading a cookbook called Autumn (2004) by Susan Branch. It includes wonderful seasonal recipes, quotes, and stories, and each page is hand-lettered and watercolored. I can choose from Pear Salsa, Parmesan Spaghetti Squash, Touchdown Chili, Autumn Spiced Cider and many more. Or I can just feast on the illustrations, which I do every year with pleasure. It is a delight for both artists and cooks.
And I made a new salad dressing from a cookbook called Buttermilk by Angie Mosier, which has, you guessed it, all recipes based on buttermilk. The book is one of a series of small paperback cookbooks called Short Stack; each is authored by different culinary experts and focuses on one ingredient…I have Corn, Yogurt, Butter, Prosciutto, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, and Chocolate (!).
I love the Buttermilk Dressing, below. The author suggests it as a dipping sauce for vegetables or chicken wings, as well, and presents some variations, like adding a little Parmesan cheese and grated garlic, which I did.
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
l teaspoon lemon juice
l/2 teaspoon salt
l/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week.”
♥Eating Out, Well, Kind of
Oh, dear…I just “had to” buy these little Mac ‘N’ Cheese Pies for dinner this week from the deli section of a very fun market called Elroy’s. “The uncommon market,” as they call themselves, is an absolute delight to roam around, with organic produce, unusual products, a tempting (!) deli section, unusual wines, a coffee bar, and more. Just over a year old, it is a nice boutique addition to our peninsula.
A friend told me about Honey Mama’s Chocolate Bars. By chance, Elroy’s had a refrigerator shelf filled with a variety of them. In keeping with the pumpkin theme, I bought Honey Mama’s Pumpkin Spice Cocoa Truffle Bar. Oh, my…it is soft, chewy, yummy, and with no refined sugar, gluten, dairy or soy. Plus, the motto on the back of the package says “Made while dancing to great music.” How could I resist!
Okay, friends…sending well wishes to you all! And Go Giants!!