Right. So, fall in California – official as of last Saturday, but there were signs beforehand. As we all know, I love autumn. As in, I luuuuurve autumn. This is definitely my favorite time of year – I love the cooler weather, the beautiful trees, the clothes, the sense of coziness, apples and pumpkins and winter squash (which, of course, means apple pie and apple sauce and apple cider and apple cider doughnuts and…okay, I’ll stop now. I think you get the point). Plus, to top everything off, we are officially at the beginning of the holiday season! YES! Before you know it, Halloween will have come and gone and it’ll be time to prep for THE BIG ONE (Thanksgiving, which there is already a feature about on foodnetwork.com) and then Christmas. I am already so excited that I can barely contain myself. I just realized that the next round of magazines to arrive will all be Thanksgiving ones! Wyatt says, “Did someone say…turkey?”
But back to the matter at hand. I apologize, I know I tend to get distracted by holidays…and turkey…and cooking…and Starbucks…(wow, I’m in kind of a goofy mood today, huh?). I was concerned that moving out here would mean no fall. After all, I was coming from New England, the kingdom of autumn. And while fall might not be quite as in your face here, it definitely makes its presence known. The weather hasn’t changed dramatically, although it is cooler in the mornings and evenings. But that was kind of to be expected – the weather is fairly steady year round here, and it is always pretty ideal, so no complaints. The leaves on certain trees are changing colors – mostly to a brilliant red, which is very pretty. It seems like the further north one goes, the more color there is – there is even a difference from Oakland up to Berkeley. There are several drives recommended for leaf peepers, pretty much all somewhat north of me, and I really hope to take one with Wyatt and the brother. Perhaps most exciting of all, fall produce has made its way to the farmers’ market – apples, pears, some squash and pumpkins, sunflowers – I’m in heaven! A number of the apples are old heirloom varieties that you don’t see much anymore (including Jonathon, a long-time fave of my dad’s although he never get his hands on any). There is actually a whole section of the region called “apple hill” that features apple orchards, cider makers, and apparently the best apple cider doughnuts ever (we’ll see about that). Anyway, I hope to take a drive that way in a couple weeks, once the season peaks – check out this link for more info: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/84940. So far, autumn in northern California has been quite satisfying.
Last weekend was the Eat Real Festival at Jack London Square in Oakland. Because I live pretty close, the roommate and I went twice – Friday evening and Saturday morning. And boy, did we eat – lobster roll bites (good, but not as good as at the Clam Shack in MA), nutella-strawberry crème brulee, frozen custard, spring rolls, garlic mac and cheese, cupcakes (twice), and a caramel apple topped with bacon. True story. Everything was delicious, and it was a lot of fun to wander and see what everybody was eating. A whole weekend festival dedicated to food!
Cooked four more recipes from Barefoot in Paris over the weekend, too!
Finally, here’s a funny pic of Alex, hanging his head in shame and admitting defeat to the pancakes – hence the white flag.