Last month I took a trip to the East Coast for a wedding. My dear friends Chris and Keith, who have been together for 15 years, decided to seal the deal as soon as gay marriage became legal in the state of New York. I arrived at the edge of Fall, the leaves had just started to change, and the weather quickly transitioned from the hot, muggy and balmy that greeted me upon my arrival at JFK, to cool and drizzly. The wedding was in the Catskills, near Phoenicia, one of several towns in that area that was sadly devastated by Hurricane Irene. Despite the still visible signs of damage, with broken roads, and trees, some signs of flooding, the locals were friendly and happy to be in business, have their power back and moving on.
Along with the wedding, which I was SO excited to go to, with my foodie partner in crime, April, who as most of you know is the Director/Producer of The Healthy Delectable Web Series, I couldn’t wait to explore the food. When I lived in the East Coast, one of my favorite things to do was go to the Farmers Markets, for the many varieties of local apples, and when the weather got especially cold, there was nothing better than a cup of hot cider to warm my hands and my tummy. On our first day, we learned about a Farm Stand called Hanover Farms, in Phoenicia, that is open 24 hours a day! They sell local honey, maple syrup, dairy products and local fruit and vegetables. And let me tell you, their Honey Crisp Apples were outstanding! The perfect amount of sweet, tart and crisp; Fall was in my mouth!
We stayed in an adorable little cabin in Chichester, NY that had the most curious and friendly goats on the property. These goats (with the help of the proprietor, Cindy) produced the creamiest and loveliest goat cheese. That was as local as I’ve ever eaten! There were so many gems of experiences to cherish – the greatest of course being the sweetest, funnest and most touching wedding I’ve ever been to.
Click on the pics to enlarge.
I returned home to warm and sunny Los Angeles, where most fruit and vegetables are available year round. And even in Los Angeles, while not as dramatic, there is a palpable shift in the seasons. My trip reminded me of the importance of eating seasonally. Not only are you eating locally, supporting local farms, and limiting your carbon footprint, but it’s also so fun to change your diet according to the seasons, to try out new recipes, flavors and ingredients!
Fall foods are some of my favorites; early to late in the season, there are so many wonderful and nourishing foods to taste!
Among some of my favorite Fall foods in season in Southern CA are: Apples, Artichokes , Asian Pears, Basil, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Chard, Chili Pepper, Eggplant, Grapefruit, Grapes, Green Beans, Kale, Lemons, Mushrooms, Oranges, Pears, Persimmons, Potatoes, Raspberries, Spinach, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and Winter Squash, (and many more!)
What a wonderful season for soups and stews, hearty greens and delicious fruity desserts! Here is one Fall recipe I will share with you. More to come. Happy Harvest, enjoy the big yellow moon!
Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
*Feel free to play with this recipe to suit your taste. Try it with green cabbage, sub apples with pears, add nuts, top it with a poached egg…so many possibilities!!
1 Red Cabbage (about 2 lbs)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (or butter)
1 Shallot (or onion)
1-2 Apples (Granny Smith are a good choice because they’re tart)
1/2 Cup Chicken or Veggie Broth
1 Bay Leaf
1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (or try Red Wine Vinegar or Port!)
Dash of Salt and Pepper
*Optional 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (I don’t find this is needed, but some like their braised cabbage sweet)
Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage if they’ve browned. Slice the cabbage in four, cut out the core, then cut the quarters into thirds. Rinse in cold water and set aside. Saute shallots and apples with olive oil or butter over medium heat, until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add cabbage, Bay Leaf and broth and cook until it the cabbage wilts, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, salt, pepper and optional sugar, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the cabbage is soft, stirring occasionally. Make sure to take out the Bay Leaf when serving.
Some awesome links, related to this post.
* Check out Chris and Keith’s fabulous online store, Fred Flare.
Here are some of the causes they believe in and requested donations for in place of a wedding gift:
* The Mark Project, an organization dedicated to relieving the devastation from Hurricane Irene.
* It Gets Better Project is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help through the Trevor Project and GLSEN.
* Mount Tremper Arts, is the wedding venue, and is a very special non-profit arts center for contemporary visual and performing artists in the Catskills.