Sunday, August 30, 2009

Can you smell it in the air - autumn (food) is on the horizon!

2nd grade is just a few days around the corner and Spawn is bouncing off the walls to get started! I can understand his excitement - this is by far my favorite time of year! Besides my pollen allergies subsiding, it's also the end of fair season which means one thing: The Great Allentown Fair and the Bloomie! CS Dad is all about the food at the Bloomsburg Fair, but I love the exhibition buildings - everyone's pride and joy on ribbon watermelon pickles, the largest pumpkin in the state, the paintings done by the young and incredibly old, the brilliant photos of everything from backyard dandelions to a mop leaning against a door frame. A year of hard work - planning, prepping, pruning, and choosing your best, most luscious-looking fruit or berry or squash or just photographing anything and everything you see and then to have to narrow it down to your one BEST photo from the past 12 months?!?! It boggles the mind! (I'd love to try to get CS Dad to submit one of his lightning strike or ice storm photos next year. I think any of them have a shot at a blue ribbon!)

Like CS Dad and my dad, I also love to wander around the fair, tasting anything and everything I haven't tried before and all the old favorites...Fruit smoothies at Dawn's, deep-fried cheese cubes on a stick, Cactus Taters, and London Broil sammies bring back memories of going to the Bloomie with my dad and step-mom when I was a tween - and of making an over-priced, Halloween-themed, Spin-Art sweatshirt at a fair booth. (My dad saved it for years and finally handed it over a few years ago along with some other goodies I'd left behind when I moved out.) New favorites that CS Dad has his mind on: chocolate fudge-, M&M-, and sundae-topped funnel cakes (imagine a sundae without the ice cream, but with funnel cake instead - that's a Bloomie Funnel Cake Sundae!), mini crab cake sammies, the taco bar, all-you-can-eat pasta dinner tents, random, mystery food-on-a-stick offerings, and mocktails and concoctions of all kinds. Yum!

Autumn also means Lehigh football games, push-cart derby, and Scouting for Food with our Cub Scout Pack. The best of the best is on Scouting for Food: Weekend 2 when Scoutmaster Paul asks everyone to bring a can of soup along to Pick-up Day at Scout Hall so he can make Cub Scout Soup - a variation of the legendary Stone Soup fable.

As if our autumn weren't busy enough - I'll be turning 31 on October 21st and CS Dad and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary on October 30th. Not satisfied to be over-booked as it is, we'll also make time to go to Jacktown's Fall Swap Meet (ice cream, massive cauldrons of steaming hot soup, fresh-pressed cider, and hot apple dumplings!), Trauger's Farm for pumpkins, photo ops, squash, pie, and - my favorite - spinach- and squash-laden quiches to freeze and reheat on a rainy, dreary sunday morning in November.

It's also the time of year that does its level-best to inspire me to cook all my favorite foods, my family's favorites, and some new adventures in cooking that we haven't tried before. This year I'm going to try to make a pumpkin cheesecake and a tomato aspic my friend Rachel made with awesome results recently. (Take some time to peruse the rest of Rachel's foodie/Mommy/wanderings blog if you have the time and need some foodie inspiration: Smother of One. It's one of my favorite Mommy blogs by far!) Spawn's been begging for a pot of Mommy's Harvest Tortellini Soup (everything but the kitchen sink goes in this - V8 juice, veggies, beans, pork sausage, slab bacon, beef- and cheese-tortellini, wild rice, 2 bay leaves, and whatever herbs I have on hand that catch my fancy that day ;)). I've been drooling the last few days knowing delicata squash season is just around the corner. I roast strips of the seeded squash (skin-on) with carrots and brussel sprouts in a little olive oil and I could eat this all by itself as a meal! Makes a great side dish for Thanksgiving. Yum!

Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

1 comment:

rlw said...

I am soooo ready for fall, for all the foodie/fair/Halloween reasons you've mentioned! Great post! ;)

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