When I get caught up in my end of summer-melancholia and think life as I know it is over and done with, it’s mostly because I forget how much I actually love fall. I might not be to crazy about those fifty shades of gray in November, but I have to say the fiery explosions of September and October are pretty damn magical.
Fall is my most creative and productive time. As soon as I come to terms with the elusiveness of vacation and summer decadence, I get serious about working out again and I start projects like organizing the year’s photographs in albums. I clean out my closets and finally get that well needed haircut. And most of all, I get serious about cooking.
If summer’s about easy cooking, autumn is the time to experiment with slow roasts and hearty casseroles. It’s about planning for the weekend meals on Wednesday and have Irish coffee in front of The Great Whatever Bake Off.
One of my favorite things about fall is farmers markets that sell local produce. Last Saturday, I picked up some chanterelles from the farmers market and let that set the tone for dinner. I prefer my chanterelles pretty natural and served on toast, just seared in some butter and seasoned with salt and white pepper. For a lunch or lighter meal, that can be enough, but since it was Saturday and all I also made a soup of Jerusalem artichokes to go with it.
Like most soups, it’s easy to personalize after your own taste, but I seared the artichokes with an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Then I poured some cream, milk, water and lemon juice in the pan and let it boil until tender before I mixed the soup smooth. I seasoned this too with white pepper and salt and topped it off with some parsley. Hearty and rustic, the kind of meal that will make you fall back in love with autumn.