Saturday, October 13, 2007

Time to get out the Fall...foods!

With cool nights finally upon us, and even the drought-stressed leaves beginning to turn and fall, and my closets over-run with both summer and fall clothes needed to get through the transition, it seems that Autumn is finally here! And just as sure as it is time to pull out the sweaters, and the fleece and the knee socks, the change of seasons signals a change in what is in our fridge and pantry as well as what hangs in our closets. The sight of your breath on the morning air, the smell of wood smoke in the evening, pulling out the gourds and Indian corn, these are some of my favorite signs that we are headed for the season of comfort food.

Apples and cinnamon, gingerbread, butternut squash, pumpkin... all signal the coming of fall for me. Most of my mobile garden has gone to seed, or has started to fade, Tractor Joe's fresh corn and tomatoes have been eaten, and fresh strawberries and peaches have given way to apples and pumpkins. The lemonade mix in my pantry has been replaced with cocoa mix. Sangria is out and Port is in. I have pulled out my crockpot and my fondue pot, and bought flavored decaf coffees (for after dinner on cold evenings). I search through blogs and cooking magazines for new crockpot recipes, soups and stews, and my family starts craving some of our family favorites like meatloaf and pumpkin soup, and shepherd's pie, bread pudding and chocolate pudding cake.

Even my freezer begins to look different with more chuck roasts than flank steaks, stew meat, kielbasa and chorizo. The bounty of summer that has been lovingly frozen and stored has a place of honor, to be pulled out and used in the cold gray winter.

At our house, the Halloween decorations come out, along with fall leaves and the cornucopia to be filled with gourds, mini pumpkins and the bounty of fall. Sundays mean dinners centered around the Redskins games, and soon, our round table will be moved to the living room in front of the fireplace to provide a place for a weekend game of Monopoly or our family's new favorite card game, Spoons.

It doesn't make sense, but it takes me less time to change out my pantry and prepare my house for cold weather than it does to change out my closets as the seasons change.
Maybe because the foods and decorations and the traditions that they bring with them provide comfort against the chilly days to come.

How about you? How do the seasons change your pantry, and what do you most look forward to as the temperatures begin to slide?


katiez said...

Big changes in both closets and pantry; pantry being a lot easier (As is typical here, we have very little closet space so off-season clothes get packed in boxes and stored - it's a big chore and once done there's no going back for a day or two) My freezer empties out by April (The big one, for vegetables) and is now almost full again, just waiting for the pumpkin. But I love doing it - can't wait to start making soups and stews...did meatloaf last night!

Deborah Dowd said...

Katiez- Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has this struggle with the closet change!

s'kat said...

Beef burgundy, boneless beef short ribs... French onion soup & matzoh ball soup... fondue, welsh rabbit & shumai- all these things scream Autumn to me.

And it's FINALLY cooling off!

Deborah Dowd said...

Shelley, I love french onion soup too! Beef burgundy sounds luscious!

OhioMom said...

Living in an apartment in the city means boxing and storing off-season clothes. The freezer is full of summer's bounty to be used in soups and stews. The farmers markets have root crops that are now being cooked and stored in the freezer and/or the pantry. My only complaint ? I need a bigger pantry :)

OnlinePharmacy said...

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Deborah Dowd said...

ak3dw5- Thanks! I hope you will check in regularly!

Deborah Dowd said...

ohiomom- It seems like no matter how much space you have, it is never enough!