IT’S that time of year again of copper leaves and a smoky fragrance in the air where swirling colors of streaky red, orange and yellow feels like you are enveloped by a never-ending sunset.
I just took out my cobalt blue, heavy dutch oven for its maiden voyage of the season. Pouring olive oil, which makes its rivulet streams in the pan, I added some onions to carmalize. I am just going to make a simple warm dish with some tomatoes, carrots, white canelini beans and some spices. Maybe I will eat it over a tall mound of warm rice, or perhaps with some chewy crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
FOODWISE, this time of year straddles the best of both eating seasons, the best of summer and the best of winter. There is still the ripe harvest of sugary yellow corn, deeply flavored tomatoes, refreshing watermelon and jeweled raspberries — the glorious tastes of summer. But the nip in the air is like an invitation to come inside, indoors. To turn the fire on and begin cooking warm foods with warm spices.
The fragrance and flavor of summer herbs; the heady aroma released when green leaves from a bouquet are torn; the clean floral-licorice like basil and its moisture that, like an invisible spray, brightens a room and brings to life a salad or a drink — all are an absolute delight for the senses.
Yet, the evocative, drier, woodsier fall fragrances such as the muted and earthy cinnamon or nutmeg, which can cook on a stove top for hours, perfume a house with a sense of hominess like nothing else can.