My heart is yearning for a brisk day. Though it’s mid-October, the weather has been playing games with us, hitting mid 70s and humid- leaving me using my space heater one night and the air conditioner the next. While this balmy weather is just what the doctor ordered for say- July, I need that crispness. I need to be able to walk out the door with a sweater and scarf, my favorite pair of boots, and a warm coffee. (I had to get iced yesterday!)
This didn’t start with me. It started in Jordan sometime in the 1940s, or maybe it was actually Palestine- and several years before that. My paternal grandmother who we called “Tata Em Saleem,” baked bread for her eleven children. Soft, puffy, and crispy rounds of pita bread that fed her family of thirteen.
When a family can’t always afford things like meat or even milk, three ingredients were easier to come by: flour, water and yeast, (a teeny bit of salt & sugar too I suppose…) My Dad’s fond memories of eating his Mom’s bread with every meal translated to our kitchen table, where no meal was complete without a few toasty rounds of bread.
I just came back from a lovely fall visit to my parents in Wisconsin. There is something about a little bit of space that highlights the beauty of this season so much more than New York can. Now don’t get me wrong, Autumn in New York is magical, but Autumn in the Midwest won my heart this week. (And Hugo’s- proof of this at the end of the post!)
Why in the world have I waited so long to start cooking with pumpkin? No obviously I’ve baked with pumpkin, but until now- savory pumpkin recipes were nothing but a figment of my imagination. But they are here and now I can’t get enough. The mild nutty flavor that lends itself so well to spices, sugar and pretty much every baked good you can think of is also delicious when swirled into cheese sauce. I mean pretty much everything is good in cheese sauce, but still.