The Comforts of Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the weather, the clothes, and of course, the food.  Food and fashion are both incredibly seasonal. As the heat of summer is replaced by the cool days and chilly nights of autumn, my thoughts turn to warm fuzzy sweaters and a crackling fire to warm my body, and to favorite comfort foods to warm my soul.

The hallmarks of fall and the flavors of the season go hand in hand.  The jewel tones of autumn leaves are kissing cousins to the beautiful hues of apples, pumpkins, and squashes. The rustling and crunching of leaves underfoot is connected to the crackling sound of a fire in my sensory memory. And the coziness of a favorite sweater or scarf is not unlike the feeling one gets when enjoying a bowl of homemade soup or a cup of hot cocoa.

When the temperature begins to dip and Mother Nature prepares herself for winter, I am inexplicably drawn to hearty, warming dishes, perhaps as my own way of steeling myself against the impending cold weather. There is nothing like coming in to the warmth of a kitchen filled with the delicious and tantalizing smell of baked goods, spices, or a simmering stew after an invigorating walk in the crisp autumn air.

Comfort foods evoke warm feelings and memories of family, friends, and good times.  They make one feel safe and cared for.  Nurturing and nourishing, these foods have universal appeal, yet each person has their own specific dishes that hold a special place in their heart and palate.  Whether your favorite is Mom’s macaroni and cheese, homemade vegetable soup or freshly baked apple pie, fall is the perfect time to indulge.  Think of it as girding yourself against winter.  So, get into the kitchen and whip up your favorite - share it with someone you love, and enjoy all that fall has to offer.

Featured Recipe by Riki Senn: