Your Favorite Season to Cook

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I was walking through the market yesterday and when I saw the Pink Lady apples I got an intense longing for fall to just get here already.  I think fall is my favorite season to cook because of the great veggies that are harvested.  In a couple of weeks time we'll have fresh figs, leeks, apples, etc.  Right around the corner there are some great holidays to cook for, and it will be perfect soup weather.

    What's your favorite season to cook and why?
     
  2. siduri

    siduri

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    Anytime but summer, it's just too hot! 

    And surprisingly, there isn't such a good choice of vegetables. 
     
  3. bazza

    bazza

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    My favourite time for produce is right now. I am in the first week of my Autumn menu which includes mussels, wild mushrooms, butternut squash, figs, apples and pears. It is a wonderful season for produce and the wierdest thing is that I always do my christmas menu in the garden in the sunshine at the end of August, we are already taking bookings for December, strange but true.
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    I can't think of a bad time to cook. But right now is my favorite time. The markets are still full of  summer's bounty, but fall stuff is coming in (hard to believe they're selling pumpkins already).

    A wonderful time for the widest diversity of fresh produce and other foodstuffs.
     
  5. robertwhite

    robertwhite

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    Hi..!!

    Autumn is my favorite season, as the air has a crisp feeling.  

    The smell of baked apple pies, mums, roasted nuts, toasted marshmallows outside and baking pumpkin seeds.
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Florida is hot. So I prefer to cook in late fall, winter.Keep in mind there would be no Florida if it were not for an air conditioner and a mouse(mickey)
     
  7. hophound

    hophound

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    summer and fresh tomatoes
     
  8. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Good thread. I recently was thinking that this time of year is my favorite in Florida. I don't know what it is, but the first time I start to feel a coolness in the air, it beckons back to memories as a child of playing outside in the cool weather until it's dark, my mom calling for me to come eat. There is a sort of depression, about winter coming, but not a sadness so much as a calmness. Certainly the holidays play a big part in the food aspects of fall, as a child those were times when we also were given a break from school.

    As an adult now, I am acquiring a much better sense of ingredients, and have started my fall zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers along with garlic chives. Towards the end of the month I will start spinach, lettuce, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, beets, broccoli, and cauliflower. Yesterday I found what was an excellent giant bolette aka wild porcini, if only I had found it sooner, but I will keep looking for them. Another thing that I look forward to in cooler weather is harvesting shellfish. When the water temperature has dropped some, there is less bacteria present, even though the state tests water every other day it's a general rule that the shellfish are better in the winter here.

    My fathers land has peaches, citrus, persimmons, and also a hard pear tree that should make some excellent preserves. I am looking forward to the next few months, fall is certainly my favorite time of year to cook.

    Ed, I'm sorry your impression of Florida is of air conditioning and a tourist trap.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Hard to pick a single favorite.  I guess I'll have to go with the first four.  Each has its irresistible charms.  I know it's not quite playing the game to pick more than one or two, but my name ain't Sophie.

    I've lived in Southern California practically all of my life.  We only have a late spring and early summer.  Earthquakes, though.  Earthquakes we got.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  10. chrose

    chrose

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    Well it sure ain't summer! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif
     
  11. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Fall for sure is my favourite time to cook.  I love the crispness of the air and just the whole feeling of fall.  From now until New Year's is my favourite time of the year too and always has been.
     
  12. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    An overwhelming sway towards fall it seems!  Although it's my favorite too I will put in a small vote for winter as well, if only for the stews I only cook then.
     
  13. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    BDL - the earthquakes help shake all the fruit off the trees /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif

    Favourite season to cook, in order of preference, start with autumn and follwo the normal progression.  Summer is the worst.  Way to hot except for salads and cold cuts and the stone fruits are great but last only a little while, although bbqs are good.  But that's outweighed by the constant heat. In autumn there's all summer's bounty to reap, then winter you can do nice comfort foods, spring means lighter meals (to work off our winter coatings).

    Ed & eastshores - I've heard that Florida is known as The (Powers that be)'s Waiting Room /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
  14. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    I think winter time believe it or not. There is something wonderful to me about a warm house filled with wonderful smells of foods that are best suited in colder days. A great stew or braise cooking away while the snow is falling outside. 

    Fall is a wonderful time to for me. Like you I enjoy the harvest.
     
  15. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I like fall.  Cool enough to have the oven going all day.  Family gatherings + apple pie make it even more special.  I love apple pie.  :)
     
  16. amazingrace

    amazingrace

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    I love Fall!   My kitchen gets decorated in Autumn theme, (although I'm a little late getting started this year due to some health issues)  and my thoughts turn to cooking heartier meals,  and cinnamon-scented candles and potpourie help to stir the appetite.   I love the crisp mornings, the changing leaves, the sun going down earlier,  the long shadows, geese flying south,  and the abundance of local produce.  This is chili season here,  so every market has roasters going in its parking lot.  The aroma is intoxicating,  and can be experienced only in the Fall.  Yes,  I have to say also that fall is my favorite season for cooking too.  More comfort foods, dense breads, pumpkin & apple desserts.  My idea of heaven on earth would be fall all year.
     
  17. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    All four seasons are unique.

    Why is it when its winter we cannot wait for spring, for the asparagus and fiddleheads and .....then when spring passes we anticipate the bounty of our gardens and cooking on the grill and sipping margarita's, corn on the cob......

    Then just when we had enough of summer, fall comes before we know it, with all its colors and cold nights , apple picking, making honey, going to fairs, then there is that first snow fall that tells us that winter has come at last , hot soups, baked breads and fireplaces and red wine.

    So can I pick one ? They all have there own special place in my heart and mind with some of the best childhood memories.

    As a child I would wait upstairs for my father to come home, he would arrive at ten or so and I would watch him through the cold window as I breathed on it and etched my name....I would watch Dad, as tired as he was, drag out the hose and stand in the cold night, watching him water the skating rink which he did loyally every night so that we kids could have a smooth rink to skate on when we came home from school.

    He never thought anyone would notice the hour it took him to fix the rink and make everything nice for us.....but I would wait to see him drive in and would not fall asleep until I heard the front door close , only then I would get into bed.

    I know....sappy....but my father is and always will be a beautiful man to have done this for us, even though he thought no one saw....a memory thats all.
     
  18. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Thank you for sharing that.  That's wonderful!
     
     
  19. islandcheferic

    islandcheferic

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    Winter on the Island is great!!!!
     
  20. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Fall, easy.

    Winter, nothing is fresh enough in New England --- no produce, anyway. And by the end of winter the good potatoes and turnips and stuff are starting to be not the best. The old expression "the bottom of the barrel" refers to root vegetables and the like in late winter.

    Spring is nice, but it takes too darn long before anything is really growing, and you spend the whole time waiting. I mean, yes, lamb is terrific, but when all you've got is lamb and asparagus and some really old onions, it's depressing. Most of New England spring is what Vermonters politely call "mud season."

    Summer has tomatoes and everything great, but it's so darn hot you don't want to futz around in the kitchen, so you end up just knocking out something quick. Not that the quick stuff is bad: fresh tomatoes, quick-grilled steak, beautiful lettuces, all that is great. But that's the time I feel like playing around with what I've got, and then it's so hot I don't want to do it any more.

    Then fall. All the great stuff from summer continues, because we've got Indian Summer, which happens every year longer and longer these days. But the evenings are cool enough, so I can get silly in the kitchen. And then the squash and stuff is ready, and the game comes in, and I can just go nuts. For the first month or so, stripers are gigantic and fresh, and lobsters are still cheap, and then it's time for oysters and clams and stuff, and meanwhile there are terrific potatoes. And in New England, when the leaves start to turn, the air starts to smell of smoke, and that makes me hungry every time. Run to the farm, get some apples and beans and pumpkin and kale and potatoes and onions....

    Thanksgiving is the beginning of the end. For me, it's a sad day. It means, "enjoy it, because from here on it's going to be fighting the elements until next September." Of course, I hate turkey, which doesn't help.

    Oh --- in fall, they slaughter fat hogs. Need I say more?

    Interestingly, perhaps, in Kyoto, which is the most totally lunatic foodie city I've ever known, everyone lusts after fall. Winter is cold and squodgy, spring food is green and squodgy, summer is too f*-*-*ing hot for words, and then for a brief moment it cools down and everyone eats like pigs. Everything is in season, pretty much, from fish to veg to meat, and all the best recipes seem to be about eating the smoky taste of fall.

    Example (then I'll shut up): Take koji miso, which is coarse country miso that has bits of rice and stuff in it. Mix in sliced negi (Japanese scallion), fresh shiitake mushrooms, sweet white miso, sake, soy, and sugar. Mix it up good so it's really gooey. Now get a Japanese magnolia leaf (ho-ba), which is a honking big thing, and ladle a big mass of the miso mix onto it. Sear a duck breast just to render some of the fat but leave the meat basically raw, then slice it thin on the bias and fan it on top of the miso mix on the leaf. Sprinkle lightly with soy, minced negi, and sake. Now set this leaf on a coarse wire screen set over a fairly hot charcoal fire, preferably at the table. Wait. The leaf won't burn if you do it right, and the miso will start to roast, and the roasting will roast the duck, and when it's looking medium-rare you just grab some duck with miso and negi and eat it. It's like eating autumn. I say this as a New Englander, and we're very serious and picky about autumn, but this is the real deal: autumn in your mouth, the whole thing.

    Check it out.

    Oh --- and if anyone has a good suggestion for a replacement for the magnolia leaves, preferably one available in New England, I would dearly love to know about it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010