In My Kitchen, October 2012

The clouds had been gathering all day, but when the first fat raindrops began to fall, it felt like a surprise. Within about five minutes, the rain was coming down in sheets; Kaya and I were making dinner in the kitchen, and I wasn’t sure how we were going to get it to the house without getting soaked. (Umbrella to the rescue.)
When we woke up this morning, the air felt as if it had been scrubbed clean. It was the first morning that had the air of an autumn day, redolent with the smells of damp leaves and soaked earth. Everything seemed clearer and brighter, and the kitchen seemed particularly inviting. So, without further ado, I offer the first glimpse of the kitchen this fall. (To see what’s happening in the mother lode of kitchen glimpses, head over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.)
In my kitchen…

…there is the distinct feeling that the maximillian sunflowers are about to stage a world takeover. They are great because they explode into bloom at the very tail end of summer/beginning of fall when everything else is swooning from the heat. Another sign that fall is here at last.

… there is a bowl of popcorn from the garden. Baki and I planted some Dakota Black popping corn and we harvested it a few weeks ago from skeletal, dried out plants. Out of the blue, Baki asked for popcorn this morning right after we ate breakfast, so we tried it out. After much energetic popping, I am pleased to report that it is unbelievably tasty — I swear, it tastes buttery! I like, too, how it looks burnt, but it’s just the hulls and kernels from the corn.

… there are quince, ready to be eaten. These might look green and unappetizing, but they are sweet and fragrant once you get them out of their fuzzy peels. Ali picked them from the tree, which was bent almost double under the weight of the fruit, and we’ve eaten plenty of them already. I will be making quince jam this week, and will post the recipe. It’s my mother-in-law’s no-fail easy-peasy pressure-cooker quince jam.

So these sights, smells and flavors of fall have gotten me well and fully appraised of the change of seasons. Summer is but a sweaty memory. I’m digging out the wellies and the sweaters. Hooray for fall!

28 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, October 2012

  1. As hot and dry as it is in your area, the first signs of Fall must come as a big relief and a heavy rain was just what was needed to clean the earth of Summer’s residue. Although, I’ve seen quince I’ve never tasted it. That’s probably just as well. I’ve spent the last 2 weekends making more jams & jellies and I don’t know where I’d put more. πŸ™‚

  2. Morning darling, i have always been FASCINATED by your outdoor kitchen but did not realise that is was detached from the house, is there a shot you could take that would show us your kitchen from the outside.. it sounds idyllic to the popcorn . i love it when kids garden.. c

    1. I will take a photo this weekend so you can see our jigsaw puzzle houses! I try to get Baki’s hands dirty, but since I wasn’t much of a gardener as a child, I know there’s always time. He liked the popcorn, though. That’s the thing, isn’t it – things taste better out of the garden.

  3. We’re laying-up here, too, but we’ve slid into the usual grey, damp English weather that I really find difficult. Long months of this stuff before I see the first green shoots in the garden again.

  4. I always wanted to grow popcorn when my kids were little, back in dry-as-a-bone Oklahoma…not sure of its chances here in Coastal New England, but maybe…
    I can just imagine the relief of that first breath of fall…it must be magic πŸ™‚

  5. Such a lovely view from your kitchen! This is the first time I have ever heard of eating quince without cooking it with tons of sugar. I love the flowers but hesitated to plant a tree, because I didn’t know what to do with the fruits. (I am diabetic) Now that I know you can eat them RAW I am anxious to plant a tree!
    Thanks, ~Lynda

    1. I always thought that about quince too. And it is true that some quince have finer flesh which makes them better for eating raw (as opposed to ones that ate more grainy). Still, when they’re properly ripe they are very tasty, fine grained or not. (And that’s the treat when you have your own trees- really ripe fruit!)

  6. Such a beautiful post! I’m so glad you’ve joined in, Siobhan, it’s a joy to see your outdoor kitchen happenings! The quinces look divine and so fresh – by the time they hit the shops here, they’re looking a little tired. And growing popping corn! How cool is that! πŸ™‚

  7. I love your detached kitchen- it has such a lovely view!
    I grew strawberry popcorn one year and scraped my thumbs raw detaching the kernels from the cob- that black kerneled is very tender if it is anything like the kernels here in the states- how neat that you made up a batch after breakfast!
    Thanks for sharing – I enjoyed the visit!

    1. Garden Correspondent

      Thanks for stopping by. I think that strawberry popcorn looks really cute — but now I know its secret. By the time I processed the Dakota Black it was dry and pretty spiky, so I know what you mean about the raw thumb. It was worth it, though!

    1. Garden Correspondent

      Thank you! It was actually the only corn that did much of note this year, so I’ve decided that next year it’s popcorn all around!

  8. tinyskillet

    I am enjoying the “in my kitchen” posts! I would love popcorn any time of the day! I have tried black popcorn before and now I’m enjoying red. I still make it stovetop…my daughter loves it! Our summer was a little cooler than the rest of the country, we are near the coast which keeps us cooler. But then here in Florida we don’t get much of a change in seasons. However this morning we did wake up to low 70s and dryer air. πŸ™‚

    1. I would like to try hull-less popcorn –that’s on my “to-plant” list for sure. We are stovetop poppers, too. It’s more fun that way.
      It is funny, isn’t it, how when there are not as many variations in weather, we become more attuned to the subtler changes in weather.

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