Sunday, September 19, 2010

Signs of Fall

Fall creeps in a little at a time in Oregon. Usually, it begins with the warm days, cold mornings and different shadows exposing themselves throughout the day. I notice the days giving way to darker mornings and earlier sunsets. This year is proving itself to be a little different. Suddenly, fall is here without much warning. We welcomed the weekend to rain and more rain. Soggy Ducks and Beavers fans braved the weather for their beloved teams, Oktoberfest attendees ate their sausages, beer and fondue in the rain, umbrellas and ponchos were a bit more visible.
While Ray and Will attended the Ducks game in Eugene (Go Dux!) Jaimey and I had a girl's weekend with Mom. We still had some gardening to tend to. It was so funny to pick tomatoes, green beans and zucchini in the rain. I don't think the pumpkins will ripen in time, to be sure. Even the sunflowers, while big, still don't have their seeds and the acorn squashes are more the size of a true acorn.

It is a funny contrast to see the Oregon foggy rain with blooming sunflowers. I didn't mean to match! I just grabbed a sweatshirt before heading outside.
These were only some of the veggies we picked. Surprisingly the beans were in full harvest. All I do with them is saute them in olive oil with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. They are so delicious on their own, the flavors shine with mimimal add-ins. I love to marinate these cucumbers in a balsamic viniagrette, so good! The bell peppers will be used in fajitas tomorrow night. I carmelized a huge supply of our onions, it has been great in some different soups I have been making. Stay tuned for a recipe or two.
To celebrate the arrival of fall we made caramel favorite toppings over the caramel are toasted pecans.

Yes, those are fruit loops, sprinkles and chocolate chips. Blame it on my mother.

What a view from my mom's kitchen - I will never tire of it

I was thinking, back on the caramel apple thing. I love the idea of hosting a caramel apple "bar" but on the gourmet end. You could have everything laid out and ready in bowls. How about shaved Dagoba bittersweet chocolate, fleur de sel, candied pecans, coconut, homemade granola, etc.. Messy? Possibly. But, what a way to kick it up a bit.

Happy fall!

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