Thursday, September 13, 2012

best time of the year

It looks like the air conditioner is going off today.  This is the day i look forward to through the sticky hot summer -- when i can open the windows and turn on the attic fan, and the air that comes in may be a little moist, but fresh and "alive."

Tomorrow i can set the oven to self-clean, and not get the kitchen all hot and smoky -- because any meat that's baked in the oven inevitable leaves fat spatters that cook on the next time it's used, and cleaning it is an ... ahem ... AROMATIC process.  Time to remove the summer ivy garland from the bannisters, and wind on the autumn leaves.

I've been looking up new soup and stew recipes, too -- i love one-pot meals when the weather is cooler.  These can usually be made in a low-carb fashion, whether by leaving out the flour thickeners and using alternatives, or simply deleting things like potatoes.  I even ordered myself some new cookbooks so as to spread my wings a little -- one French, one Austrian, one Hungarian, and one generic "European peasant foods."  The Mexican, German, generic Celtic, and Pueblo books i already had are stuck full of tape-flags marking promising recipes i've yet to try.  Then there are the historic cookbooks, and the HUGE variety of ethnic-American ones....

Thank the gods for low-carb alternatives!  Harvest-time COULD be dangerous to me, because i have this instinctive attraction to those foods my ancestors fattened up on before the onset of winter.  Nevertheless, i WILL indulge a little with things like the occasional baked apple and crustless squash pie.

Can't wait to see how big my sunchoke harvest will be this year....


  1. What is a sunchoke and how do you eat it?

    I've taken to cooking a big pot of veg mixed each evening, and freezing most of it into 3 or 4 containers. Then in winter/spring, just add a bit of meat, instant stew. Ever day is different. Even include a few potatoes/bigs and smalls that likely will not keep well.

  2. good idea!

    the sunchoke is also known as the Jerusalem artichoke ... which is neither related to the artichoke nor from Jerusalem. :-) it's a new-world relative of the sunflower, whose tubers taste rather like artichokes. the Italian word for sunflower is girasole, which i suppose sounds like Jerusalem to simple people. i planted mine a year and a half ago in a raised bed, because they can be invasive. it's a good potato-replacer, because they cook to about the same texture, and have a milder flavor than things like turnips. i like them best well-scrubbed, cut in uniform chunks, tossed in olive oil and roasted like oven-fries. mmmm....

  3. sunchokes? Oh no you did-ent! There is no fall in the air here. I am already lining up donors for the pumpkins. My chokes won't be diggable for another month or so.

  4. no, i pulled a short plant, and there were no usable parts yet. :-( wish i were there and could get one of your punkins!