Autumn has arrived in my neck of the woods! There are still lots of green trees around, but each day there are more yellow, orange and red ones too. And when I went outside this evening, it was downright chilly! (around 48 or 50 degrees)
I’m always sad to see summer end, but I do enjoy this time of year too. Everything seems so sumptuous and bright. When I went to the grocery last night, I had fun looking at all the great autumn produce: red, green, yellow and mottled apples, yellow Bartlett pears, brown Bosc pears, big jack ‘o lantern pumpkins, wide squat Cinderella pumpkins, little round pie pumpkins, and lots of shapes and varieties of winter squash in greens, creams and yellows. Some of the things I chose were a Danish squash, a pie pumpkin, Bartlett pears, small Gala apples, and tomatoes. I had one of the apples for lunch today along with some natural peanut butter on homemade Raisin Pumpernickel bread. The apple was a little mushy; sort of a disappointment considering how pretty they were and that it’s apple season. It wasn’t too bad, though, and the peanut butter improved it (what apple isn’t improved by peanut butter?). Also, my pumpernickel bread turned out really well, so it improves any meal. This evening, I roasted the Danish squash in the oven, and it was very good.Here’s how to roast a squash: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Wash the outside of the squash well by running cool water over it and rubbing it with your hands. Then cut it into chunks that seem manageable to you (I did fourths). Lightly oil a baking dish and the cut surfaces and seed cavities of the squash. Put the squash cut-sides down in the baking dish and roast uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the meat can easily be speared with a fork (this might take a bit longer for some varieties of squash). Serve as is, or with salt and pepper and butter, or cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.
By the way, the Raisin Pumpernickel bread recipe I made was from The Garden Way Bread Book: A Baker’s Almanac by Ellen Foscue Johnson (Garden Way Publishing, 1979), page 169. My mom had a copy of this book when I was little, and she baked from it fairly often. As I got older, this was one of the books that was instrumental in my learning how to bake bread. It is inspiring, accessible, and the recipes are delicious. I also love that it is organized by the month of the year. It’s so fun to make bread to go with the season. My only wish, now that I’m older, is that more of the recipes were 100% whole grain. But, I guess baking with a little white flour now and then is okay (like in this recipe). Also, some of the recipes can be adjusted to include a larger percentage (or maybe even all) whole grain.