Archive for October, 2009

Is it really fall?

I know it is fall — after all, it’s October 20th and the stores are filled with Halloween candy and other spooky supplies.  The days are getting shorter and the weather is rainy, cloudy and cool more often than sunny and warm.

Despite that, my roses are still blooming (I took these pictures on Sunday, October 18th),



and there are even buds on some of the bushes.


At the same time, the leaves are turning on the trees in the yard.




So you can see why I am confused.


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I’ve been thinking about a post about what, other than food, makes a good restaurant experience great.  But that’s not what this post is about.


I’ve also been thinking about a post about the sudden, and in my opinion, untimely, demise of Gourmet magazine (we got our final issue this week — well, actually, we got our final two issues this week because somehow, in a fit of over-eagerness, we ended up with two subscriptions for the past six months and never canceled the second one because it was about to expire anyway).



But that’s not what this post is about either. In fact, it’s not really a post about anything in particular.


Let’s just call it a chance to post a few recent photos taken around the house on a rainy fall Sunday.






tileNow I feel better.

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Chili for dinner

Another favorite meal at our house is a nice hot, spicy bowl of vegetarian chili.  This year we have the good fortune to have fresh dried Tarbais beans from our much-loved local Viridian Farms to add to the mix.


These beans are lovely even uncooked!


Before leaving for work the other day I put the beans in a pot, covered them with a generous amount of water, and left them to soak.  When I got home the beans had expanded nicely.  I rinsed them, added more water and simmered them over medium heat for about 30 minutes.  By then they were soft and creamy.

While the beans were cooking I chopped an onion, some heirloom carrots, and a lot of garlic.  I tossed it all into a big pot with a few tablespoons of olive oil and sauteed the mixture until the onions began to soften.  I added my favorite Penzey’s Chili Powder,


a small can of fire roasted tomatoes and some water.  Once that was all heated nicely I dumped in the beans and let the chili simmer for about 45 minutes (or until S got home from work — this is a very forgiving recipe when it comes to how long it can bubble away, you can just keep adding water if it gets too thick).  At the last minute I added some slices of Field Roast smoked apple sage vegetarian sausage and salt and pepper to taste.

As we got ready to eat, I tossed some organic romaine lettuce with apples, toasted pecans and a simple buttermilk dressing


and dished the chili into big bowls.


The verdict?  A perfect early fall meal.

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