The days are growing shorter and the evening air is crisp and cool. The leaves are changing and autumn is upon us! I love this season – and what I like best about it is the food.
The last of the summer’s bounty is ready for picking and there is still corn at my favorite farm stand, which I will buy and freeze so there is a taste of summer on my dinner table on a cold, winter night. I will also can a bushel of sweet, juicy tomatoes, perfect for making a spicy pot of chili to serve on a chilly October evening. Top the chili with some shredded cheese, jalapeños, sour cream, green onion and crunched up Fritos, pull a pan of steaming corn bread from the oven and you have the perfect fall meal. I haven’t put away the grill just yet, though. There are still some Indian summer days to look forward to, the perfect time to throw a steak over the coals.
Who doesn’t love going to the apple orchard in the fall for a cool cup of cider and a warm, sugary-cinnamon doughnut (or two, or three)? I always pick some apples to make my favorite dessert – a bubbling pan of rich apple crisp, topped with whipped cream or even better, some French vanilla bean ice cream. No more summer salads for me; it’s time to think about comfort food and loaves of crusty bread. There’s nothing better than a tender pot roast cooked in the crock-pot with potatoes, carrots and onions. Some of my favorite comfort foods to make (and eat) are meatloaf served with smashed, buttery, garlic potatoes, chicken-fried steak smothered with gravy, cabbage rolls, not to mention deliciously sweet chocolate chip cookies and gooey, homemade cinnamon rolls topped with cream cheese frosting.
Now, let’s talk about the ultimate comfort food – pizza. Did you know that October is National Pizza Month? It was designated by Congress in 1987 and statistics indicate that pizzerias make up approximately 17 percent of all restaurants in America; and of course, the favorite topping is pepperoni. Pizza was always the go-to meal for my family in the fall when the kids were busy with sports and after-school activities. My grandkids and I love making our own pizzas. At many pizzerias, you can purchase the dough uncooked and bring it home to bake. I put out a variety of toppings and we have fun making our very own personal pies. One of the most popular days to order pizza happens to be Halloween.
Of course, you can’t talk about fall food without mentioning tailgate faves: game-day chili, spicy chicken wings, loaded nachos, BBQ pork sliders, salsa, guacamole and chips!
I’m really glad fall is here, aren’t you?