This past week, when I dragged the boxes of cold weather clothes out of the closet and pulled on one of my favorite oversized sweatshirts, I decided to make some tea. There is something about fall that makes me want to drink ship loads of tea. Oh sure, I’ll still take a cup of coffee, but tea has this exotic warmth to it. Tea is especially kind and nurturing when the winds kick up and the air a bit more moist.
When I drink tea, I want it with a snack – say a handful of nuts or a piece of toast with some of that homemade raspberry jam sitting longingly on the top shelf of the fridge. That gets me through the afternoon until I have an avocado and egg sandwich or a bowl of fish chowder as my end of the day comfort food.
During the fall I cook more than any other time of year. It’s a treat to be in the kitchen surrounded by yummy ingredients and a warm stove. I live in an old house with small rooms, so the kitchen is both cozy and challenging. Depending on what I’m making , meal preparation can spill out into the dining room where I have a table worthy of large cutting boards and floury messes.
Right now, my dining room table has several books piled on it. That’s never uncommon in this household. When deciding what to cook I just pull cookbooks off the shelf and in turning the pages discover or rediscover recipes. Tanya Holland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen cookbook has a hold of me right now. It’s all about soul food and that is what I need right now. Yesterday I made her sticky buns and sweet potato-kale hash. The latter called for the last bit of parsley I would harvest from out back.
Following are the cookbooks I am really into right now, and one book that’s all about women in whiskey. That’s another thing I’m getting more into – and thanks much to fall (and the wise minds behind the counter at the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club) – whiskey!
Maine Home Cooking by Sandy Oliver
Desserted by Kate Shaffer of Black Dinah Chocolatiers
Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes by Ariana Bundy
Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland (!!) by Tanya Holland
Tessa Kiros: The Recipe Collection by Tessa Kiros
Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey by Fred Minnick
**Craving Heritage by Sean Brock – due on shelves the end of October