Fall bounty

As a Halloween baby, it figures that I own pumpkin cookware such as a pumpkin-shaped spatula and cookie cutters…but now I get to add a pumpkin pot to the list! A Le Creuset pumpkin pot!  This turned into a delicious fall meal: pot pie and a collard green salad!

My parents came into town for my birthday and surprised me with a pumpkin dutch oven for my birthday—what fun!  Its maiden voyage was a “pumpkin” pot pie. Starting from the smattering of root vegetables in the fridge, this fall dinner wasn’t only delicious, it was beautiful!

Using the pot on the stove, I sautéed some onions and added carrots, cooking for about 10 minutes, while I prepared the other veggies. I stirred in minced garlic and cooked for another minute before deglazing the pan with some sake (instead of wine since it was open already). Then I added the chopped potatoes (beautifully purple inside!), turnips, and carnival squash along with two cups of water. I added salt, pepper, and rosemary and made a mix of about two tablespoons corn starch, one teaspoon vegetable Better Than Bouillon (a bouillon base we’ve started using, courtesy of cea), and some water to make a paste to stir in at the end. This cooked, covered, maybe 45 minutes, in the oven at 375 °F. Once the veggies were starting to become tender, I topped it with some refrigerator-ready biscuits (the leftovers from one great cabin weekend) and baked until the biscuits were nice and brown on top. Meanwhile, I toasted the squash seeds with some salt, oil, and paprika.

Since this was baking for a while, I finally decided to approach this crazy salad recipe I’ve been eying for a while…the one with raw collards! All of the reviews were glowing and we had all of the ingredients in the apartment, begging to be used. The one thing I didn’t have was apple cider vinegar, but I used a mixture of water, apple cider (farm stand fresh!), and white wine vinegar (about 1:1:1). I also halved the amount of sugar it called for and threw the finished apples in the freezer to cool faster. Everything else was by the book, and let me tell you, these reviewers were all spot on—this is delicious! It tastes like summer and fall at the same time.

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