"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Positively autumnal

It's fall! Well, it's felt like fall for most of September, but today it's official: day one of fall, my favorite season.

Maybe it's because I don't like heat very much, maybe it's because I'm a nerd and I still mentally run on a student's calendar so to me a year begins in September, maybe it's just because I like the way the air feels and smells and the way the daylight looks brighter and more intense---whatever it is, I love fall more than any other season.

Or maybe it's the food.

Oh, autumnal delights! Spicy and rich and warm and comforting. Fall means pumpkin and spice, soup and stew, casseroles, potato-y goodness, butternut squash, apples and all things made with them. It means Halloween (candy!) and Thanksgiving (stuffing!) and my and Jeremy's birthday in between.

This fall, in addition to the usual stuff like pumpkin bread and apple crisp, I've decided to bake pies. I've never actually baked a traditional pie with a fruit filling. Once I made a coconut cream pie for my dad's birthday from an America's Test Kitchen recipe and it was amazing, but it had a graham cracker crust. I've never actually made a pie with a rolled crust. So I've decided it's about high time to do so, from homemade crust to filling.

The problem is that our small kitchen has zero counter space. Zip. Zero. So I'm not sure where I'd roll out a whole pie crust. To solve this problem, I've purchased a pocket pie mold from Williams-Sonoma.

Egads! Tiny, adorable pies in shapes!

I got the heart-shaped one. They also have apple and pumpkin ones for fall but I thought I could at least use the heart all year round. So we'll see how things turn out. I'm sure it will take a few tries to make the perfect mini pie, but at least it'll be a tasty experiment. Here's hoping I have a digital camera by the time I make these so I can take some pictures.

In other kitchen news, I went a little crazy with Jeremy this weekend at Target getting things for our kitchen. I got a new omelette-size pan (12") that has a copper bottom, which Jeremy used last night to make some sausages and which he gave a raving review of approval to. (Jeremy then diced up the sausages and mixed them with cut-up asparagus, two kinds of pasta, and some sauce with freshly grated parm into a scrumptious "kitchen-sink" pasta casserole, which is his specialty.) I also got a set of wooden spoons to replace my melty-looking (and frankly, scary-seeming as a result of the meltedness) plastic spoons; a medium-size metal bowl (to use as an improvised double-boiler for melting chocolate, as I feel there are brownies on my horizon); and a large fine-mesh strainer for straining sauces and soups. (Did I mention that last year I bought a book that has 400 soup recipes? I'll be going through that one this fall and winter rather ravenously.) Oh huzzah. Of course, I still need to get some cake pans as I am planning on making some cakes, but thanks to my old roommate and her excess of kitchen goods, I have a loaf pan for making pumpkin bread.

What's your favorite fall food? Or is there another season you prefer?

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