This week really feels a lot more like fall has arrived. It has been grey and wet and chilly. Some of the summer crops have slowed down considerably. We spent most of Monday picking in the rain and in the afternoon, Megan brought us a thermos of chicken broth. There is nothing like a warm drink of golden broth when you are feeling soggy and chilled. This is the season for broth. With cold season approaching, its not a bad idea to start fortifying your immune system with regular doses of chicken broth. Megan likes to make large batches of it with leftover parts of a chicken after a chicken dinner. After letting it cook slow and long she simply freezes it for a chilly day when we might want it. Or for a future soup or stew. Adding chicken feet to broth boosts its collagen content.Collagen is essential for healthy joint, skin, hair and bone functions. When we get out chickens processed we have the butcher clean and package the feet in 2 pound packages. The cartilage, collagen and bone in chicken feet will yield a high nutrient broth.
But I digress. I began this by remarking on the cooler weather. But fall has NOT arrived. Around here we hold that there are in fact 6 seasons and not the simple four that you may have heard of. Currently we are in one of the lesser known seasons. You can call it whatever you'd like because it doesn't have an official name. It occurs between summer and fall. People who are truly in tune with the ebb and flow of a garden are aware of it. During this elusive season, the summer vegetables are still on hand (like tomatoes and peppers) and yet, we begin the cook them in new ways. For instance, fresh caprese salads no longer feel right. Instead our tomatoes go into tomato soups, which feel far more appropriate. Another of our favorite ways to elicit the deep soulful flavor qualities of a tomato is to slow roast them, chopped roughly and tossed with whole garlic cloves, olive oil, and salt until they've cooked down and become brown and caramel-y. At this point they take on a new personality. Likewise peppers, previously eaten fresh or lightly cooked are now roasted and stuffed with hearty fillings. You see, it is not fall yet--if it was there would be pumpkins and Brussels sprouts. But it also certainly is not high summer--because well, have you felt the air in the morning? And besides, we still have tomatoes. It can't be fall yet. No friends, this is a different and distinct season. Let's just call it late summer and embrace it as something new.
It's good to pay attention to change.
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