Skimming through autumn issues of magazines you’d think it is the most glamorous season of the year. Houses look cozy but sophisticated with warm fluffy throws and rust shaded cushions adorning sofas, mess-free kitchens elaborately host steaming dishes of comfort food, clean well dressed kids sit playing quietly with each other by a window showing off the raked backyard and fiery trees. And mom looks fabulous in a ‘titanium’ colored jacket and burgundy lipstick against her pale Kristen Stewart skin.
As if we would ever have enough time. Or actually find a whole stick of lipstick that was actually usable and left untouched by daughters whose favorite past time is dressing up. And we all know just how good the kitchen looks after making that elaborate meal on a busy weekday.
Luckily most mothers have discovered short cuts and developed good imaginations to fill in the gaps. Take a deep breath smile, ignore the sticky floors and the variety of stains decorating the house. Now imagine everything as it would look in a Crate and Barrel catalogue. Then walk to the kitchen because you can’t run a family on imagined food. Would be nice though.
Apples are the regular fall thing. Of course they are also good in winter. And spring and summer. But there is just something about the smell of apple pie in fall. Of course that takes time and effort especially if you don’t want to use a ready-made crust and prefer healthier homemade options. That is why apple crumble is so great. Easy and fast to make.
10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
2. Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
3. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.
Apples are full of vitamins and fiber, and help lower bad cholesterol.
Pumpkins are another great fall food, containing vitamin A, potassium and magnesium. Here is a great exotic, spicy recipe for pumpkins that can be eaten over rice dishes like biryani and even rice pilaf or just with a spoon as a side dish.
1 cup pumpkin cut into small cubes
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small onion finely sliced
3-4 dried whole red peppers
2 cloves of finely sliced garlic
Salt to taste
1 chopped green pepper (optional)
1 ½ cups of yogurt
4 tablespoons oil for frying
1. In a frying pan fry the onions and garlic till light golden and add the dried red peppers then the cumin seeds.
2. Add the pumpkin, salt and green peppers
3. Cook till pumpkin is soft and can be mashed easily.
4. Let it cool a bit and then stir it into the yogurt, add more salt if needed.
Another must eat fall food are pomegranates. And guess what you just peel and eat! And make sure the kids aren’t wearing white when they are. Pomegranates are full antioxidants and tannin and they are supposed to keep your heart healthy and lower bad cholesterol. The seeds are high in fiber and also contain unsaturated oils. You might want to think about that before you let the kids go ‘patooey’ and convince them to chew them well and swallow.