Can you feel it? Not that the morning and evening dusk light has changed (it has) or that even a hot & sunny September day lacks an edge to it (it does) or that traffic patterns on your street now have picked up pace (they have) but it’s that all those little pieces add up to a transition from summer to fall.
I find that even my musical tastes alter from summer beach house grooves to slightly mellower chillout compilations and old school jazz. But most importantly, my palate changes and I crave different flavours and the cooking methods to get there.
Just this weekend I made focaccia and I topped it with sliced red onions and fresh thyme. As it baked, I realized that I think it was May that I last smelled thyme cooking. My summer dishes are generously covered in fresh basil, parsley and dill, and even though I’m still cooking with tomatoes, corn, zucchini and eggplant, the flavor profile has changed. A baked tian, layers of sliced vegetables baked with Herbes de Provence has a deeper profile than grilled vegetables tossed with basil & lemon. I haven’t broken down and bought a squash yet, but even the late summer kale takes on an autumnal edge with the addition of bacon and a grating of Parmesan.
And of course, since I test recipes, I often work a little ahead of the season. Pumpkin was called for in my medley of muffin recipes I was making, and I found myself craving to switch out my closet from summer dresses and replace them with my cosy sweaters.
As you close up the windows and turn on the oven, what aromas do you find yourself craving? Do you fulfill them by making a particular dish?
Enjoy your autumn nesting!