This glorious fall continues. I spent this past weekend on Gabriola, a small island off Vancouver Island where my Grandma, Aunt and Uncle live. It is a beautiful island with small farms, arbutus trees, and stunning beaches. It is peaceful, it is quiet.
It was a lovely, cool fall weekend with family. As to be expected, there was lots of delicious food. We arrived to fresh baked cinnamon buns. There were soups made with garden fresh ingredients, preserves to remind us of summer’s bounty, a slow cooked roast with root vegetables and there was coconut cream pie. We chatted by the fire, looked at old photos and took walks along the water.
We stopped to watch and listen to a raft of sea lions just off shore. We happened upon a little self-serve fruit stand with over a dozen varieties of heritage apples and the cutest little Conference pears. The apples will become pie to be shared with friends.
The landscape was studded with red rose hips and the last of the turning leaves hanging on to the trees.
There were wild turkeys on the side of the road, sheep grazing and this old neglected farm house.
It has been an incredible fall. One of the prettiest ones I can remember. Until November hit we had very little rain and so many beautiful sunny days. The colours of the trees have been stunning and the light, oh the light. I love fall and the light at this time of year brings such intensity of colour to everything. I love walks in the crisp air, leaves crunching under foot and curling up with a good book and a warm drink.
I have been enjoying watching the little maple tree turn colour outside my bedroom window and the way the light hits it in the late afternoon. It is currently raining yellow, orange and red leaves all over the road and cars parked on the street. Soon the rain and wind will wash and blow it all away until next year.
Then there is the cooking and the baking. Lots of soups, stews, and roasting happening in the kitchen these days. Lots of roots, dark leafy greens, apples and pears and warm spices. There have been ginger cookies, banana cake and roasting fruits.
Apples and pears will be the main fruits for the coming months. Roasting is such a nice way to enjoy fruit in the winter, it brings a warming quality that is much needed on cold winter days. The combination of the honey, orange and cardamom with the pears is really lovely and the cardamom has a warming thermal quality to help keep you cozy.
The orange and pear juices, honey and butter cook up to make almost like a cardamom scented caramel that works perfectly to spoon over the pears when you serve them.
The pears are delicious served with thick yogurt and drizzled with the pan juices. You could also do whipped cream or ice cream. I had some maple granola with slivered almonds that I sprinkled on as well for a little crunch. Some chopped toasted nuts would be good too. The pears are also tasty sliced up and served over waffles or pancakes or on top of a warm bowl of oatmeal.
I think the best parts of fall and winter cooking (aside from the eating) are the smells that fill the house, this one is no exception. Hope you are enjoying the cool days and keeping warm and cozy in the kitchen.
Fall has set in. The fog has rolled in today but the days have been mostly bright and the air crisp. I had a lovely Thanksgiving with friends and family in Victoria. Always thankful to be surrounded by loved ones and beautiful local food.
Mushrooms are a favourite, especially the wild ones. It is no secret that I love fall cooking and wild mushrooms are something I look forward to every year. The chanterelles have been beautiful and apparently quite plentiful this year. Foraging for wild mushrooms is certainly on my culinary “bucket list”. I know it will happen one day. Until then I will take satisfaction in hunting them down at the farmer’s market.
This recipe is really just a guideline. I find wild mushrooms don’t need much as they are so full of flavour and texture on their own. This recipe is great for a simple lunch or dinner or pop a poached egg on top for a beautiful weekend brunch. If you don’t have wild mushrooms, any mushrooms would be delicious.
Happy fall and foraging!