I get excited about fall like a pre-teen backstage at a Justin Bieber concert. Like a wino at a vineyard. Like a cop at a doughnut factory. Like a shop-a-holic at a sample sale. Like a... have I made my point? I love everything about fall. And I especially love relaxing weekends spent cooking and baking up the flavors of the season.
With five cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry I got to work on my Great Pumpkin Feast. GDL's Pumpkin Ravioli called for toasted hazelnuts and a butter sage sauce. Simple and delicious. Poured over pumpkin or squash ravioli it was a spicy decadent dinner. That was it for Everyday Italian though.
Next, I pulled out my crockpot for my Curried Pumpkin Soup. It's thick and creamy and quick to assemble. There's something so comforting about lying around the house with a cool fall breeze coming through the window and the smell of a soup or stew permeating the house. If the Pats were playing it could have been any number of fall weekends at my parents’ house. But in Virginia, Jared and I read and walked to lunch and dozed on the couch and it was fabulous.
Finally, dessert was in order. Another fall tradition of mine started with my roommates in college. Every October and for the last five years, we would get together at the Jones Family Farm in Shelton, Connecticut for pumpkin picking, cider and big, flat, chewy pumpkin cranberry cookies. The recipe can be found on their website JonesFamilyFarms.com. While they still tasted delicious and were fairly easy to make, mine weren't quite so flat. More scone-like which was fine by me. One bite and I was back on the farm watching kids get their faces painted and dad's carrying as many pumpkins as possible through the cashiers line and laughing with my roommates like 13-year old boys at the unusually shaped gourds.
Not being able to get up to Connecticut or home to Boston this fall kills me but my Great Pumpkin Feast gave me a taste of New England here in Virginia.