Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ending One Season, Beginning Another

I picked up my last CSA delivery this week. Which means the winter I’ve been dreading since it turned cold over Labor Day weekend is really coming. We’ve had such a beautiful fall it’s hard to believe the party may soon be over. But as the trees become more and more bare every day, their leaves piled up beneath them, it’s easy to see it’s the end of the growing season.

As such, I’ve been switching from my summer recipes to my winter staples. Last week I made Borscht with about half of the beets I’d been storing, some carrots that had been collecting dust in the crisper, and a few of the tomatoes I oven roasted a few months ago. It's not a stapel yet, but I first made it last fall and liked it so much, I’ve been craving it for a while. But somehow hot beet soup didn’t sound so appealing in the summer heat. Now its crazy colorful look and acidic taste is a perfect match for fall’s show.

Tonight I made another favorite winter recipe, Spinach Pesto and Chicken Couscous, with one of the bags of spinach I picked up this week. It’s nothing like the spinach pesto I made a few weeks ago, even though I used pretty much the same ingredients. For some reason, probably because the couscous is warm, I only make this in the cooler months. After a summer of cold couscous salads, it is comforting in a non-cheesy casserole way on a night when it is dark way too early.

Although my deliveries have stopped I have enough vegetables to keep cooking for a month or two. I’ve been stockpiling the hearty vegetables such as squash, onions, garlic and potatoes. And without the humid weather, the vegetable that seemed so perishable in the summer, such as broccoli, are lasting a little longer. Beyond that I have a few casseroles, pesto, and more tomatoes stored away in the freezer.

I plan to keep writing over the winter as I dip into that stash, and make use of whatever else I can find locally at the winter farmer’s market and from other local sources. Winter may be the dead season outdoors, but it’s often the time when the kitchen comes to life.

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