September, September. Summer's over and we are filled with back-to-school doom. Sorry, I meant the promise of new starts and new opportunities and new pencil cases that comes with this month.
1) SPREADING - the nights are starting to draw in but we are already in there with weekend tea and toast at dusk. This batch of cherry and cardamom is a particular favourite and a flavour combination that is new to us.
2) HARVESTING - we don't actually have our own vegetable patch and the ship has sailed for us for primary school harvest festivals. That said, we are revelling in the glut of fruit and vegetables that we have at the ready. So good in fact that our latest tactic is to bypass the butchers and start at the grocers for meal inspiration. Cob nuts, salads, pumpkin and squashes. Delicious and beautiful.
3) WATCHING - we hadn't come across the Munchies youtube channel until recently. But now we have, we can't stop watching it. From the creators of Vice magazine, this is right up our street. From interviews with Margot Henderson, to features on Korean funeral fare and recipes on making your own Sriracha. The style of many of the videos is irreverent but they still manage to cover significant ground geographically and to cover more hard-hitting issues such as catering at Guantanamo.
4) FRITTATA-ING - not technically a verb, but judging by this month it should be. Where once our go to super speedy, fridge efficient supper was something involving pasta, it is now a frittata. Or spanish omelette, or tortilla, or plain old omelette. Call it what you will, it is hearty and oh, so easy to put together. Our rules of the frittata developed so far are: more is more when in comes to cheese; keep any vegetables chunky; and, if in doubt, add a slug of frozen peas.
5) DRYING - drying out the last of the chillies from our chilli plant. Despite some serious neglect, soil at times that had all the aridity of the Sahara, and being knocked to the floor more than once, this little plant has produced quite a glut of red chillies. We rewarded it by throwing it in the bin. They are fearsomely hot, so we have dried the few final chillies for winter. Not exactly 'Little House on the Prairie' levels of pre-winter preparation but you have to start somewhere.
6) HITTING THE CHICORY - the late summer, early autumn window is perfect for a warm salad. Grill up some squash or pepper, pair with some goats or blue cheese and dress with almost any oils and vinegars. The one thing with a warm salad is that it can lead to limp lettuce problems. This is where the chicory comes in. It is more robust, less prone to wilt and the leaf shapes are the perfect receptacles for scooping up the toppings. Yummers.