Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall's Bounty

I love this time of year--cooler temperatures, the way the light hits the trees and the food. Now is the time for green chile and I can tell it's going to be my harbinger of fall. New Mexico is known for its chile ("Red, green or Christmas?") and for good reason--it's delicious. It also smells divine as it's roasted in large metal drums outside just about every grocery store and market. We live pretty close to a little grocers and when the wind is just right we catch a whiff of roasting chile. The charred skin and warm smell practically cause me to salivate.

This is what is used to roast a huge bag of chile. The drum is connected to propane and is rotated with a crank on the side.
(Photo courtesy of

It's a different feeling than when the General Foods plant a few miles away is making some artificially flavored fruit cereal. That smell is really nauseating, yet it brings back some sort of childhood memory. These kind of cereals were not allowed in my house growing up, so I'm not sure where that memory comes from, but it's definitely there.

Squashes are also flooding the market and it's finally cold enough to feel like I can roast one without sweating to death. Today I made a spaghetti squash "lasagne" with a fresh tomato sauce. It was so delicious with a side of tatsoi and a creamy carrot soup. Kabocha, acorn and delicata squash are filling up the countertop!

Peaches and plums have given way to apples and pomegranates. I spent the morning processing pomegranates into juice for future jam/syrup projects. It's pretty labor-intensive to extract the seeds and juice. I was reminded of saffron and wondered if pomegranates are the fruit equivalent. We now have 2 ice cube trays full of pom juice in the freezer. Maybe a pomegranate-prickly kombucha is in order...
Definitely the tastes of fall.

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