Summer left with the smoke from the forest fires and Fall feels here to stay for a while. It's even raining today. This is my very favorite season; cool enough for a sweater with my cup of tea in the morning and warm enough for a t-shirt and sandals in the afternoon.
I am always happy to move the cooking outdoors in the spring. Grilled food is delicious and there are less dishes to wash. By July and August, however, I am feeling uninspired and only want to cook and eat "Fall Food" like stew, roasted chicken, chili, pie, banana bread, basically anything braised or baked. Chicken pot pie? Yes, please! Six weeks ago we had horribly hot weather (highs 106-108) and I found myself at the library checking out an armload of cookbooks, full of weeknight dinner recipes. I think I was reminding myself that the weather would cool down eventually and that school would, thankfully, start up again, requiring the need for meal planning. That coincided with the start of Vincent's work travel. Those were long, hot, cranky days for me.
My return to the kitchen this season is extra poignant this year because I am starting a little cooking business! As you all know, I love to cook and am excited to announce that I am now going to get to cook for my community through Josephine. Josephine is a wonderful community where approved cooks (that's me!) sell their home cooked meals to friends and neighbors. I am so happy to be part of this. You just order online, pick up the food from my house, and take it home to enjoy! Check out my first meal here. I'm really excited to be branching outside of my own kitchen a bit. I've been having fun thinking up meals and testing out recipes. The Brown Sugar Cream Cheese ice cream I made will have to be part of a fall meal soon.
We spent the weekend processing the apples and pears we had picked on my birthday into sauce. This is the fourth year I've made apple-pear sauce. The first year I made it Dean was about eight months old and I distinctly remember giving him a bowl of applesauce for one of his first foods the day we were making it. He made such a funny face when he tried it. I'm glad he loves it now because he sure didn't that day. On Saturday I spent the morning in the house chopping and cooking down the apples and pears, occasionally running bowls of hot fruit to the backyard where Vincent and the kids were set up with the grinder. On Sunday I spent over five hours canning it all. We picked 97 lbs of fruit which yielded 30 pints and 14 quarts. It was a long day that ended with takeout burritos. Oh, the irony...