Autumn & Fall
I’d like to hope that we enter into each new year with a sense of optimism and possibility. We get a clean slate, a fresh start, a blank page on which to leave our mark. Now that it’s 2017, I am excited to share with you a bit of important news.
I’m a fan of the underdog. I love to see the least likely succeed, the marginalized find a voice, and the outcast find a place to belong. While this may sound like political commentary, or perhaps a way to decide which team to root for at football games, I assure you, today we are talking about cauliflower.
When I get home from working in the kitchen, I’m eager to wash off the food smells and get off my feet. And then the last thing I want to do is cook. I crave something simple and low-maintenance with a little bit of comfort thrown in.
As we experienced our first light snowfall of the year this week, I find myself not even remotely prepared to let go of fall. In Alaska, it’s so impossibly brief, particularly for my love of fall food. Fall flavors are my favorite flavors of the year.
In an ode to September and fall colors, I’ve made some of Bobby Flay’s sautéed cider apples from his cookbook “Brunch at Bobby’s.” Tart Granny Smith apples, simmered in apple cider spiced with cinnamon sticks, until they are tender and glazed in a syrupy, buttery sauce.
When the 7.1 earthquake rocked the southcentral part of our state early this week, Alaskans picked up their phones and laptops, taking to social media in droves. Everyone from the Kenai Peninsula to Anchorage and beyond seemed to be up at 2 a.m. checking on one another, sharing stories and videos, and reading the breaking news. Text messages chimed. Phones rang. Within moments of the event, the earthquake became the common thread that stitched together a people who live miles and oceans and mountains apart in this vast state we call home. The solidarity was visible and immediate. Shared experiences unify people, rewriting our collective narrative.
I’m all about starting this new year off right beginning with breakfast each morning. There was a brief season of my childhood when I consistently ate breakfast before encountering the day, and it was my very favorite season. While my mother was more the kind of woman to skip breakfast or pour a bowl of cold cereal, my grandmother insisted on a hot breakfast each morning. As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of the many reasons I loved life at my grandma’s house.
After all of the holiday cooking and baking, the last thing I wanted to do was make another trip to the store. I pulled a can of coconut milk and garbanzo beans out of the pantry, inspiration struck, and a satisfying new recipe was born – Chickpea Curry with Kale.
This smoked salmon bagel is a staple. An Alaska must-have. A well-loved, well-used post. An obligatory Alaska from Scratch rite of passage. I serve it up year round for any meal of the day. When I give the gift of smoked wild Alaska salmon, this is the first thing I tell the receiver to do with it: Make. Bagels. Now.