Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Apples, Salsa and Pumpkins!

As much as I hate to see summer end, my favorite season truly is fall. Perhaps that's because I'm a Libra, born in October, when the leaves are turning and everything is colorful and change is on the way. I love fall, I love the tiny golden leaves that line the streets like gold thrown by fairies at night. I love apples, salsa, and especially pumpkins!
Today I made green tomato salsa with some of the last of the tomatoes of the year. It wasn't a great year for tomatoes if you enjoy the big, juicy ripe ones, but the green ones make some great salsas, relishes and chutneys, as well as fried green tomatoes!
I look forward to Apple season almost as much as Asparagus season. I say almost as much because Asparagus season is shorter and more dear to us, here in South Central Wisconsin. In spite of the chilly spring and wet weather early in the growing season, the apples in this part of the state seem to be doing well. On Sunday when my computer printer ran out of ink I stopped at the Monona Farmer's Market while trying to find ink on a Sunday morning, and purchased some of Vivian Green's scrumptious apples. Vivian and her husband own Green's Pleasant Springs Orchards in Stoughton. They have some of the best darn apples I've ever had, and are some of the hardest working, most honest people you'll ever meet. Vivian and her husband sell at several farmer's markets around town, and in spite of that Vivian was surprised to see me at the Monona market on Sunday. I told her, I'm everywhere! If there's a farmer's market, I shop there!
On Saturday I worked at the Food for Thought Festival on behalf of Madison Originals. While chatting with people during the festival I saw some pretty awesome pumpkins going by. One was so big it looked like it had taken over the stroller it was riding in. I also saw some adorable youngsters with pie pumpkins, just the right size for little ones to carry home. I was worried about the pumpkins this year, after the late spring, hard rains early and then drought mostly all summer, I didn't know what we'd see for pumpkins. Until I cut into one and prepare it for one of our favorite pumpkin dishes I won't really know the quality, but they look awfully yummy at first glance! I'll keep you posted on what I find as I start cooking and cutting for pies, soups, bars, and yes, cheesecake. My favorite all time cheesecake has always been pumpkin, and after 20 months hiatus from baking them, I'm ready for some pumpkin cheesecake!
Enjoy the fall, bask in the warm afternoons, and enjoy the cool evenings. Roast marshmallows with the kids after dinner and watch for the harvest moon. All too soon it will be cold and we'll be stuck indoors for more hours than we'd like each day, so enjoy the fall and embrace the change of seasons.
Next time...Beast baking fall goodies!

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