Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall: food, fun, & philosophy


I love fall.  So much.  I think my favorite reason is because it evokes memories of being cozy at home with family.  I remember coming home from the bus stop after school, and coming in from the crisp air outside to find that it was the first day of the season that my mom was burning the Spiced Pumpkin candle.  There was a warm dinner ready and it felt like the whole house was giving you a hug.  Providing this - this tangible love - is one of the major driving forces in my day to day life.  To make a place where Justin and Anna and all of our visitors can walk in and feel that peace and comfort that comes from being home.

That got more philosophical than I intended, pretty fast.  Back to fall.

I'm pretty excited about decorating for the season in the next few days (my burnt orange kitchen doesn't look this good with red and green at Christmas!).  And for pumpkins and pumpkin baking.  And for cozy evenings with my two favorite people.

Tonight, I made the meal that has become my unofficial fall kick-off meal: a roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, and green beans.  (I think it's the squash that makes it unofficially/officially fall to me?)

You tell me: poor quality cell-phone photos better than no photos?
I think I've only roasted a chicken once before (unofficially kicking off last fall, but not until November because I had a newborn).  There was also the time that Justin almost gave himself food-poisoning by partially roasting a chicken while I was in labor, but that's a story for another day.

Anyway, today I tried it in the crock-pot with this recipe.  It was delicious.

Something about making chicken broth from scratch is very compelling to me (I think it relates to that desire to capture the simple goodness that is part of the fabric of homemaking - and something that the collective we used to do much more in the past.  I'm planning to write another post the reflects on all of the types of "former glory" I'm looking to find - snippets of things that used to be better in some way or another).  The blog with the chicken recipe suggested making it in the crock-pot, which I thought was brilliant (and also makes me feel like I can leave the kitchen, a luxury I'm too scared to afford myself if something is simmering on the open flame of a gas stove!)

I picked our home-grown celery for the first time tonight to put in the broth - so I'm basically feeling on top of my little homemaking world today.  That is, until I walk out of the kitchen and see the neglected laundry, etc :)

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