It’s been a little while since I’ve been here, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been on vacation and then had a busy week of work, and I’ve really missed the writing and the thinking and planning that come along with it. I’m feeling a bit rusty, but happy to be back at the page.
Vacation was a trip home to Colorado, and it was wonderful to see friends and family, and enjoy some beautiful Fall weather. Fall is my favorite season in Colorado, and I think others would agree. I love the crisp air and the fresh smell it brings, as if the heavy-scented heat has been blown away. I love the turning leaves, especially when they are at that point of just turning from green to gold.
I love the blue skies, the need for a sweater, and I love the return of heartier food. I was able to revel in all of this for one week. The best part was returning to Texas, where Fall is starting to make a tentative appearance.
Part of my love of Fall is the food. There is the lingering summer produce as well as all of the start of cool weather crops: beautiful winter squashes, dark greens, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. All of the things I’ve been secretly waiting for while delighting in tomatoes and eggplant and zucchini. It’s not just that I love to eat squash, but there is something so comforting about roasting a vegetable, letting the flavors really develop, and then sitting down to dinner. By this time of year it’s dark again at dinner time, and a warm meal and a glass of wine inside feels like being wrapped securely in a blanket.
I also love braised meats at this time of year, but that will have to wait a few weeks. I’m doing a 40 day Vegan diet in conjunction with a 40 day Yoga Challenge through Yoga Yoga in Austin. So, for the next month or so we won’t have any meat, seafood or dairy on these pages. I know, it’s a bit scary at first, but I promise that still leaves lots and lots of recipes. Just this weekend I made a big batch of watermelon gazpacho, possibly the last truly summery dish of the year, and it is so fresh and flavorful that I’ll probably have to share this one with you at some point. I’ve also enjoyed some of the first roasted Delicata squash of fall; bridging two seasons of produce will make this so enjoyable. I’m also considering an experiment with making crisps and pies without butter, just shortening. I have a lot of research still to come, but I don’t even think I’ll have to do without baking during this cleanse. So far, I’m excited about all there is to make and not feeling at all deprived. And in a month, I'll be ready to delve into a different side of cold weather fare.
So, here is a toast to Fall, to fresh air and fresh food, and to a few new challenges to keep you grounded.