Is it just me, or did the fall weather arrive a little too soon this year? I am not complaining, I don't think. I love to sleep under a blanket again, and put on a sweatshirt at night. It just seemed to start a little too early this year. I am guessing we will get a late Sept. heat wave and scramble to find the sandals again.
Fall is my favorite time of year to cook. There is so much abundance at the Farmer's Market, and in your friend's garden. And things can simmer slowly on the stove, or roast in the oven, and you don't mind heating up the kitchen.
One of my all time favorite summer-into-fall dishes is Corn Chowder. And the very best recipe I have found is from "Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland" by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson. I have modified it a bit, but here it is if you would like to try it yourself:
4 oz. bacon
1 lg. sweet onion, chopped
1/3 c. flour
2 med. potatoes, peel and diced (I use red)
1 pint chicken broth
1 pint whole milk
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 red pepper, chopped
4-5 ears sweet corn, cut off cob (save cobs)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parley, chopped
Saute the bacon in a large saucepan or Dutch oven until crispy, drain and chop. Add the onion to the pan and saute until soft. Sprinkle with the flour and cook and stir for a few minutes. Add the broth and potatoes, the bay leaf and the cayenne pepper. Here is where you can add the corn cobs, to extract all of the juices. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down and simmer until the potatoes are soft, 15 min. or so. Take out the cobs (scrape them good to get all of the loveliness from them) and add the milk. DON'T let it boil again, you are just going to warm it up. Add the red pepper and corn, then season to taste. Simmer until it is warm enough to eat, 3-5 minutes or so, and serve it with the bacon and parsley on the top. oh yum.
I baked some beer bread to have with this, it is also great with biscuits.