This is the perfect period of transition for me, for the warmth of summer still clings precariously in the air while the push into winter works its way to rid any trace of balminess.
Wait a second in a blink of an eye all has changed.
A nor’easter clipped the northeast dumping snow earlier than I could ever remember. The effects were felt as a sizeable layer of frozen precipitation covered still green grass spreading its frosty tentacles into the south where temperatures dipped to the freezing point. Goodbye the last remnants of summer. Up until this third to the last day of October the markets represented a moment of transition with eggplants, tomatoes, corn and okra occupying corners, displaced by myriad beets, full blown cabbages, stiff stalks of Brussels sprouts and apples lined up to the horizon’s line. The corners have been lost.
Yes, I already miss cucumbers, peaches and melons though I know they will return next year. Mother Nature’s generosity means that not all will be lost with this flip of a switch change. Herbs like sage, parsley, sorrel and thyme seem to be handling the deep chill, and my cabbage, beets, kale and carrots are showing no signs of frost burn. So, clearly I will not be going hungry yet.
The initial lost may provoke an extreme sense of despair, but given time for reflection I know all will return. Pining for my desire absolutely makes their return all the sweeter. So, now I am spending time hollowing out pumpkins, toasting their seeds and making purees, pies, breads and roasts. You know summer has come to its end when the oven is turned on and you welcome the ambient heat.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower - yields 4 to 6 servings
1 head of cauliflower
2-tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees.
With a pairing knife make "X's" in the core of the cauliflower, and then using the knife carefully cut out the core -- making sure not to cause the head to fall about.
Place the head of cauliflower on a baking tray, and pour 1/2-cup water onto the tray. Drizzle the oil over the cauliflower and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes until browned. Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon juice.