Welcoming Autumn

And all of a sudden, it’s fall. Bring on the hearty, comforting dishes. I’m shocked, but nevertheless ready for hikes, pumpkins, cider, toasty nights, boots and sweaters — and the inevitable hibernation after this crazy busy, fun year.Everything is changing so quickly this season. Or maybe it just snuck up on me, but either way, the colors are already moving to the golden, orange brown of autumn. I haven’t had much time to cook dinners lately, but have been enjoying leisurely weekend breakfasts! Sweet potato homefries are making a return. The two breakfasts here are variations of eachother. The first, a fried egg with “sweet” sweet potato homefries (cinnamon, coconut oil, fried sage, spicy roasted pumpkin seeds, S&P), sauteed beet greens, and a homemade dill pickle. The other take is a poached egg with uncured bacon and savory sweet potato homefries (cooked in the bacon fat and topped with pickled cherry tomato vinaigrette). Both are the byproduct of a somewhat crazy obsession with canning and pickling that I just developed…not joking when I say I’m preparing for hibernation this year.

I drive by the Newbury Salt Marsh every morning on my way to work. It’s a bit of a commute, but sights like this make it enjoyable. I keep meaning to go back in the early morning to snap some photos of the rolling fog that settles there each day – it’s really so beautiful.So far, I’ve pickled dilly summer beans, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, and dill pickles. I’ve also brandied figs and am in the process of pickling watermelon rind, for a charcuterie plate come Thanksgiving or mid-winter. I can’t recommend The Preservation Kitchen book enough. There are so many mouth-watering recipes in there, from the canning and pickling recipes, to meals highlighting the tangy and sweet treats. I hadn’t canned until this season, and so far so good.

I’ve also gotten back into brewing kombucha! Just started a continuous brew for the first time, which means I’ll have a steady supply. It’s in a beverage dispenser with a spigot, so any time I remove some to drink, I’ll just add the appropriate amount of tea & sugar water, and it will referment in about 24 hours. More on this later; I haven’t tasted this first batch yet but am looking forward to some home-brewed ginger elderberry booch!Happy fall!

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