It’s cold in the morning these days.
It’s the season for emerging from under a cozy warm blanket, making hot coffee, and stepping outside to feel the sharpness in the air.
Fall is also the finest season for Jewish food. The seasonal stuff is delicious and the sheer number of potential holiday dinners gives us the opportunity to make a ton of excellent, colorful food.
In honor of Rosh Hashanah dinners, breaking of the fast feasts, and Sukkot pot-lucks, here are a few easy suggestions for celebrating fall and its natural beauty in a festival of healthy Jewish eating, featuring the colors of a New England Fall.
The flesh of the acorn squash is golden orange. Cut a fat acorn squash into two pieces, cook it at 350 for an hour, and stuff it with simmered apples, pears, raisins, nuts, and cinnamon. Perfect.
Similarly, butternut squash is a sweet and healthy Fall staple. I love it in soup- see this clever recipe I once used to trick my parents into eating something new and risky.
Sweet potatoes are an outstanding complement to any meat meal. Toss some in a roasting pan with turkey or in a crock pot with brisket, and two hours later you’ll have a delicious side dish.
Nothing’s orange-r than a fat old pumpkin and its uses are almost limitless. Grab some of this amazing pumpkin stout from the local packie, make some pumpkin pancakes, or go nuts and actually eat a sugar pumpkin. Be warned, though…the flavor is a little weak so make sure to spice it up with something. Trader Joe’s has a “pumpkin pie spice” that is pretty good.
Cranberries are the pride of southeastern Massachusetts. This cranberry bread takes only an hour to make and is a Monday Night Football tradition in our house.
Nothing says Fall like a freshly-picked apple from a farm out in the western suburbs. While ½ bushels are running at $26 per bag now, there really isn’t any downside to spending and hour or two wandering through an orchard and picking out huge and tasty red apples.
Spaghetti squash is another fall staple. Halve one and roast it for an hour, then add meatballs and your choice of pasta sauce for a funky variation on a traditional dish.
Brisket is necessarily a Fall food, but then again it isn’t a summer food either. At Whole Foods in Bedford it’s usually not around in the summer unless you call ahead and order it, but nowadays it’s well-stocked. I love walking in to the house with the smell of brisket in the air after a few hours of being outside, and making brisket is absolutely idiot-proof. Put a crock pot on low, add some veggies and onions, a smidge of water, and take off for the day.
Mulled apple cider. Enough said. Please don’t buy the pre-packaged stuff- making it the old-fashioned way is totally worth it.
Happy fall, and happy eating to you all.
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