The changing of the seasons happens quite abruptly here in Seattle. Fall arrived mid-September, while we were in Amsterdam. It was 85 and sunny the day before we left. We returned to much cooler days and much less sun. All of my almost ripe cherry tomatoes remaining on the plants burst from the moisture brought by the first serious rain of the season. The leaves on the trees have turned all shades of red, orange, and yellow (mainly yellow in this part of the country). We have already had nights dip to freezing temperatures. Everything is so new to me. I truly enjoy watching the changes occurring daily, except for the rapidly shortening days. But this, I know, is the inevitable payback time for the days that seemed to last forever in June, July, and August. You can’t have one without the other.
My small harvest of green tomatoes inspired me to search for recipes that didn’t require frying them. I found a great recipe in Batali’s cookbook that allowed me to use other ingredients still found in my garden- mint, parsley, basil, and arugula. You blend all of these ingredients- along with garlic, olive oil, and a lot of salt- to a chunky consistency, add the uncooked sauce to the just cooked pasta, add parmesan, and voila!- a fresh fall garden dish.
Another utterly delicious culinary beauty that the fall brings is chanterelle mushrooms! I’m learning that these golden jewels grow like weeds up here. Yahoo!!! We were able to get them for $7.00 a few weeks ago. I was never able to find them at the height of the season for less than $20.00 a pound in the Bay Area. Chanterelles with Ant’s homemade pasta is definitely one of my desert island meals.
I’ve also learned from reading my Pacific Northwest gardening book (thank you, Nancy!), that the brunt of winter in this region is primarily felt in November and December. Tomorrow is November 1 and temperature highs for this weekend are supposed to be in the mid-forties. Mother Nature gave us a spectacular autumnal parting gift this past Monday and Tuesday- crystal blue skies, a perfect backdrop to admire the last days of fall foliage against. I wish I could take on panoramic photo of the view from our kitchen window, where we have been watching Queen Anne, the hill opposite of us, slowly turn from green to orange. These three shots capture the full scene. Change is good… and beautiful.
P.S.- I can’t for the life of me control where these photos are placed:(