Oh fall. It has to be one of my favorite seasons. Growing up here in the Northwest has tied me to climates cold and damp. I’ve tried to love Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, even sunny California, but something inside me just desires the cool sea salted air of the Puget Sound. I even took one of those Facebook tests once – Where should you live? After ten questions the screen paused, and popped an image of the Space Needle. Feels good to know I’ve arrived.

As the weather cools I get happier. Not that I don’t enjoy our short-lived summers, but I don’t pine for them as others seem to. I save my daydreams for mountain snow, and this year is sure to fulfill them. My favorite winter was 2008. Sledding down Capitol Hill, snowboarding down my street in Columbia City, buses just driving around picking people up wherever. I’d never seen a friendlier side of this city. I want that again, at least for a week or so.

And those cold and rainy – or hopefully snowy – days I’ll be cooking soup. I’ll be making stock and freezing it, my freezer is already becoming full of bags of roasted bones, shrimp shells and empty ice-cube trays. Perfect for cubes of stock to throw in sauces. I’ll be making squash soup, shrimp bisque, chicken and dumplings, hearty vegetable soup and baking fresh bread.

This beautiful sunny day is great, and the slight cool tinge to the salty breeze hides even cooler days to come. I just have to remember that when it’s raining here, it’s snowing in the mountains. It’s that thought that gets me through, that and the hearty stews, the ample smell of fresh roasted coffee and stacks of good books.

Even if I’m ready for fall it doesn’t mean my box is ready to oblige. Romaine still says grilling for Caesar salad, the rapini will go good in a stir fry with my kim chi, along with my bok choy, corn and zucchini. I might just make some roasted red potatoes for next week, as I think I’ve come across the best way to roast just about any potato. My red radishes will most likely join them in the roasting pan, or go tumbling into another salad. And the fruit – my nectarines, peaches, pears and apples – for once I will just let stand, they’ve been tasting great lately as snacks and dessert.

No big plans this week. Just some simple meals, maybe a stew with some top round. I’ve got a bunch of arugula still, which I’ll try to make some arugula pesto out of for a pizza one night. Maybe topped with some rapini, zucchini and roasted garlic. I think we’ll just soak in the last of this waning summer light, fire up the grill again and just relax a bit. Happy October.

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