I love autumn. In the vernacular of my young friends, autumn is “chill” and “filthy” and “sweet.” In perhaps more familiar words – it’s simply my favorite season – for many reasons – not the least of which it’s really the perfect time for harvesting and gardening.
Take for instance pumpkins. The plethora of these fat sassy globes everywhere makes me happy. With their orange to gold to bluish hues, strange shapes, Buddha-like bodies and boatload of nutrition, they are one of Nature’s more intriguing plants. I’ve made a foodie vow this year to be more appreciative and get experimental with pumpkin.
Not ready to be dismissed, summer crops such as beans, peppers, eggplant, herbs and okra are making a mad dash for the harvest finish line. We’re savoring the last bit of whatever summer produce we get from our garden, and dehydrating abundant squash, eggplant and apples from friends, farms and farmers markets.
And then there are our recently planted cool weather crops -- lettuces, kale, chard, arugula, radishes and green onions – who seem as deliriously happy as I am about the first whisper of autumn chill. As I watch these luscious goodies sprout, I know what’s coming next – garden bowl salads made with freshly picked, tender greens, thinly sliced radishes and tiny green onions, lightly dusted with parmesan or feta, and then sprinkled with sesame shitake dressing ... there is simply nothing better.