Cooking in Autumn

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Pumpkins. I think about them a lot in the summer. It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees out – I’m thinking of pumpkins.

I love autumn and all of the foods that it brings to life. I do love the summer months for fresh tomatoes and lovely ripe fruit, but seriously, there’s nothing quite like pumpkins. I think it’s not just about pumpkins themselves, but more about what they represent to me.

Fall is my favorite time of year, and it’s maybe my favorite eating season. I have a daughter like myself. We’re not too fond of the extreme heat of our summers, and pretty much count the hours until that first cool brisk day of autumn. We like wearing cardigans, we love pretty fall leaves, fireplaces, football games, hazelnuts, pears, gourds, and we love our pumpkins.

I started my blog at the end of September, 2012. WordPress tells me that I started it in August, but that’s when I purchased my wordpress theme. Then we left for a lovely three-week trek through Scotland, and it was right when we were back that I published my first post.

It was perfect timing, because fall was about to arrive where I live. Over the following months I wrote posts on pumpkin polenta, butternut squash soup, pumpkin pancakes, sweet potato risotto, pumpkin spazele, and acorn squash dip. I was definitely excited to write about autumnal dishes. Not the greatest photos – but fortunately, those have improved.

So now here it is 2013. I finished up my summer posts, and scheduled some that fit in quite nicely into the “shoulder” season between summer and fall. And then we took a long road trip through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. As much as I love cooking, it was a nice break from the kitchen, as well as from the computer.

But during the whole time I was gone, I was receiving my weekly posts from hundreds of fellow bloggers. It was like they stole all of my pumpkin ideas, and beat me to the punch! It wasn’t even cold out yet! I seriously thought I was the only cooking pumpkin freak on earth! I was reading about pumpkin breads, pumpkin dips, and pumpkin smoothies. I was in shock! There were also pumpkin falafels and crepes! Why did I never think to make those?!!!

It took me a while to realize that it’s not just autumn that cooks and food bloggers love – it’s every season. And why not? If you love food, then you’re most likely seasonally driven.

Since it’s just the two of us eating at home now, I really don’t need to go too crazy on making everything pumpkin, although I will kind of miss it. In the past I’ve made the requisite pumpkin butter and as a result, I still have too many in my freezer. At some point, maybe for company, I’ll throw some canned pumpkin into a savory bread, or maybe in some sweet scones for a fun breakfast food. But I really can’t be too obsessed with turning everything pumpkin like I’ve done in the past. And based on the expansion of my waistline since I started blogging a year ago, this is probably a good thing.

If you do want some ideas for using pumpkin, either fresh or a good canned variety, here is a post I wrote this past February. I was obviously obsessed with winter squashes and resisting spring!

And speaking of spring, when it comes, I will most likely forget about pumpkins and renew my love affair with all things strawberry and asparagus. Happy Fall, folks!

27 thoughts on “Cooking in Autumn

  1. I had to chuckle at this. “Not the greatest photos – but, fortunately, those have improved.” All of us, with persistence, get better. I wince when I look at my early posts. I want to grab my younger blogging self and say: “Two words, Ken: white balance. Ever heard of it?” And I sympathize with the sensation of feeling “scooped” – it happens to us all. Ken

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  2. This sounds like my thought processes. Appalled at the photo quality on early posts, other bloggers with the same ideas, and looooving pumpkin, actually, loving seasonal produce. I’m getting excited about new seasons garlic, asparagus, new potatoes and baby spring peas.

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  3. This things is there is always another recipe and at the end of every season, I’ve run out of time to make everything I’d like to make:) Like you.. I enjoy all of the inspiration around on everyone’s blogs and am content to do what I can do! Now no more talk of the waistline, eh, we have that in common as well;)

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  4. Last year I tried a lot of pumpkin recipes since I saw so many blogging friends going crazy over them. Perhaps it’s the quality of the pumpkins we have around here, but I’m not crazy about them. Maybe I don’t get the point, but they just don’t have much flavor by themselves. Sure I’ve made nice dishes adding other ingredients, but then it’s mostly the other ingredients I taste. I’ve just picked up my first butternut squash of the season, and haven’t decided yet what to do with it.

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    • You’re absolutely correct. Pumpkins are just squash, after all. In the US, pumpkins are about pumpkin pie, and pumpkin spice lattes, and carving and decorating. I always added pumpkin to dishes for health reasons, because my kids didn’t know I’d added it. But it’s just squash!

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  5. As you may know, I am sad summer is over… but if I have to endure cardigans and cover my legs with pants, I might as well dive into pumpkin cooking mode… thanks for the inspiration

    (by the way, my kitchen is looking better and better and better, and I think the range will be installed today! Can you “feel” my happiness????? ;-)

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  6. I can’t help but load up on pumpkins ans squash this time of year. We progressively eat our way through them all. I love everything about them! We must have at least 7 or 8 gorgeous specimens stacked on the front step. Which one for dinner?

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  7. You can count me in on being all about pumpkins! Its amazing how many recipes there are here using pumpkin! Yes, so many beat me to the post too, but the variations are endless! Looking forward to checking out all of yours!

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    • Thanks so much! I used to put pumpkin into everything I cooked for my daughters more for health reasons, but by doing so I figured out that it all worked, whether is was bread, pancakes, soups, or even spaghetti sauce. Cooking is so much fun!!!

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  8. I am with you on that one! Pumpkin waffles, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin raviolis, pumpkin soup…but really my all-time favourite is the classic pumpkin pie. I discovered it when living in Boston, and basically fed exclusively on pumpkin pie for a week (then got really sick)!

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