Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn Batter: A Pinch of Leaves, A Dash of Woodsmoke

Autumn--it's a season that has always had an almost narcotic affect for me. Emotions run high, woodsmoke fills the air, festivals abound.

And then there's the food. Buttery, rich, warming comfort foods served during some of the most popular holidays. I've made my own list of favorites with ease:

1. Carmel apples, simply made at a pumpkin patch or the fancy kind drizzled with nuts or chocolate.

2. Brunswick stews, compiled by a community on a hot fire, in a big black cauldron.

3. Butternut squash soup, homemade with local produce and fresh cream.

4. Turkey casserole, made from leftover Thanksgiving centerpiece.

5. Grandma's pumpkin pie, with a big dollop of whipped cream.

6. Egg nog.

7. Gingerbread men.

8. Aunt Bee's coffee ring.

9. Wassail.

10. Thumb print cookies.

From October-December there are endless possibilities to only enhance the autumn/winter experience.

Even for those who don't cook or bake on a daily basis, this time of year is an easy excuse to entertain. Some twenty-something are just starting out, and didn't have the blessing of having mom or grandma around to teach them the tradition of family recipes. Others like me, have the family recipes hoarded away in the pantry and bring them out with pride to share with their new blended family. I like to add my own little traditions as an individual starting out with new family possibilities.

Some of my favorite cook books are local, some come from mom and pop businesses, and some are so well known they have been a favorite for decades.

Food to Die For" is a book locally published by author Jessica Ward, and if you're looking for something a little different, needless to say, this cookbook is for you.

In this book, you can find all sorts of old fashioned recipes, including anecdotes, and etiquette and it's all based on Lynchburg's landmark, the Old City Cemetery. With a historical and Gothic flair, this books gets "boo" thumbs up!

Gooseberry Patch is a company that has been sharing it's Mom and Pop recipes for over 25 years and their design takes me back to my great-grandmother's kitchen. Not only do they have an entire section of autumn-themed selections, they also provide unique organizational options like a calendar and coupon organizer.

To win a copy of one of their cookbooks you can visit

I don't feel correct about ending a cookbook blog unless I mention the Betty Crocker Cookbook. It's the image that comes to mind when I think "cookbook."

What are some of your favorite autumn recipes or bizarre cookbooks?