Fall Food

comments: 112

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Aw, yeah: I cooked and baked and brewed. Buttermilk oatmeal bread, hearty mushroom and sausage pasta sauce, pumpkin spice pancakes, and homemade chai. All of it was very good! (The raviolis, by the way, were these, and they were AWESOME awesome awesome — I am really weird and picky about my ravioli because we do not have the same brand here that my mom used to buy when we lived in Chicago [she says it was Mama Celeste? does that brand still exist in the Midwest, or beyond?], and these are the closest I've ever tasted to those, my childhood favorite food, so I'm rather joyful now, because I just love ravioli, and you know how there are some things that you just want to taste a very certain way?).

(Speaking of, calling all Chicagoans now living in Portland: RUN to Bridge City Pizza in Woodstock [or just past Woodstock — or maybe it's still Woodstock there]. Oh. My gosh. You will completely freak out. The guy [nicest guy ever] who owns this place is an actual south-sider and he actually makes Chicago pizza the way Chicagoans think of pizza. And cuts it in sqaures. And puts it in the big white bag with the staples at the end that is transparent with cheese grease by the time you get home. You guys, this is the pizza. This is not the stuffed pizza. This is not the thick-crust pizza. This is the heavy, cheese-and-sausage, white-bag pizza. And you know what I'm talking about. Tell him the girl from River Forest [me] and the guy from Elmhurst [Andy Paulson] sent you. [And if any of you are from River Forest and you grew up eating River Pizza, you may start almost-sobbing like I did.] It really, really tastes like home. Andy actually called the pizza place back after we got home with our pizza the first time we tried it and he said, "This actually changes the whole city of Portland for us," and I was just standing in the background chewing and nodding vigorously with tears streaming down my face, unable to speak.)

I'm kidding. But he did call and say that. And I think his voice had a little quaver in it.

Mimi and I walked up to the get the chai ingredients yesterday in the rain. It's been raining for a couple of days, though it is still warmish, which is just delighting me. In the effort to get the mud room space ready for the pantry (which arrives tomorrow), I've been thinking about what's going in the pantry, and thinking about how to reorganize all of our kitchen storage space in general. I started to get a little excited about cooking again. It's really been a while. It's hard to admit this, but summer food just doesn't appeal to me that much, cooking-wise. This past year I really haven't cooked that much because of the baby, but now that she's older and much more willing to hang out with me in the kitchen for longer stretches, and now that it isn't four thousand degrees in the kitchen and we can use the oven again, and now that it's pouring rain and there really isn't anything calling us outside ('bye river, 'bye park, 'bye woods) for days at a time, I guess I finally hear the call of the Dutch oven. Of the slow-simmering sauce. Of the bread that takes hours to rise. Of the chopped onions, the butternut squash, the apple pies, of the long, lazy, candlelit mornings, of the bubbling Irish oatmeal I so love, of the spicy chili, or the black bean soup. Yeah. I like fall cooking a lot. I'm pretty excited about it again, especially because every day Amelia is trying new foods, and this girl loves to eat!!!

Anyway, that pasta sauce above was really nice, especially, I thought, because of the green pepper. A little sweet, but I like it sweet. The pumpkin pancakes, well, yum; we've made those many times and I think they are my absolute favorite pancakes. That's just a good recipe. (And I do have one of those beautiful crepe pans [mine's from the Mirador] that makes making pancakes pure pleasure.) The bread was good and dense and salty. The chai was a little too delicate and a little too rich; next time I will make it stronger by cutting the milk to only one cup (instead of four) and adding one more cup of water, and keeping everything else the same.The flavor was just what I was looking for, but I want a bit more intensity, on a cold, rainy, glistening, beautiful, cozy little old September afternoon.

112 comments

Ahh, yes. Baking, chai, sauces, etc. It's all good in Fall, no? We've had one day of rain here in the central coast (CA) and I envy your Days of Rain. Anyway, I just HAD to comment... our girls are just so on the same page in some ways. The picture of Mimi pointing! My Sadie just started doing this! Cracks me up. I've been chastising her older brother for doing this at the table, but she's naturally started imitating him. Naturally. She used to be afraid of the coffee grinder, but today she did a double-handed point at it. Take that. :) Oh, and my girl has the same floral romper as Mimi in those pics. So there's that too. Oh these girls... too scrumptious. xo

Alicia, seriously, please can you do a post about how you structure your day to fit so much in! A job, a baby, a house to run, corgis to walk - how oh how do you manage to fit in such beautiful baking and making and redecorating planning and sitting-still-observing-the-world time? Please let us know your secret! :)

:) Thank you so much for the inspiration!

everything is so delicious looking, especially your little doodle, omg she is precious!

Mimi's new part looks great on her. And Yes, she suddenly looks like a toddler now, no longer a baby.
Many thanks for the inspiration in the kitchen. I'm finding as a widow, it's hard to change to shopping and cooking for one, so I get discouraged. All I have to do is look at your wonderful photos to start dragging out the pots 'n pans!

I completely agree with you about loving to cook in the cooler weather. Bread, roasts, pies... all those slow, simmering, delightful foods. By the way, your pie post put me right over the edge and I've made two of those sour cream pies since then. Once I did as a custard without the crust. Not as good, but very easy. I think I hear another calling to be made! Nothing like having a full apple tree in the back yard that needs to be used.

I've been reading your blog for the past couple of months now and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing the view of the world from your eyes. Your posts always brighten my day.

Oh my gosh girl. The food you make, you're knitting and embroidery, how well you sew, your decorations in your house, that adorable little munchkin'.....I just LOVE your blog. I just love it! Thank you so much for sharing!

Hi, I was wondering whether you were following a pattern for that little brown knit cardigan? It's so adorable!

A little late to the party, but have you ever sweetened your Chai with molasses? It is incredibly delicious (if you like molasses).

wonderful blog!

Hi, is there a link to the pattern for the little sweater you're knitting in this post? It's so cute!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.