Metatalktails: Seasonal Treats November 3, 2018 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Wordshore wants to know, as temperatures drop and nights lengthen in the Northern Hemisphere, with the opposite happening in the Southern half, what treats (not just food) of the season are you most looking forward to, or enjoying now?

Apologies - this was meant to be Euro-timezone Metatalktails week; we'll do it next week instead.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 3:06 PM (106 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Yeah, that was my bad -- I usually queue it up in advance for eurotalktails but it's a little hectic at the McGee house between mid-Oct and Thanksgiving this year!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:08 PM on November 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Southern hemisphere- coming into summer. Watermelon Salad.
posted by MT at 3:21 PM on November 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

Northern Hemisphere native here—this starts the season when I put the fleece sheets and heated mattress pad on my bed and burrow under the covers with a book and my lovely cat, Phoebe, who acts as a personal furry bed warmer.

Also, making homemade soup nearly every week—minestrone, cream of chicken with wild rice, cheddar veggie chowder, beef barley vegetable ... I love autumn!
posted by bookmammal at 3:25 PM on November 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

Cranberries have arrived in food stores, just in time for me to bake them into bread or cakes. Sadly there is no room in the back for a bog- so I cannot grow them at home. My Arugula is growing well, which is to me a fall snack, even though you can get it year round now a days. A treat which is still growing, (which is insane) is my cherry tomato plant which has more baby tomatoes on it by the minute. Here's a better look at its size. November/December tomatoes! Crazy! We had a pepper causality, price of growing a garden sans pesticides I'm afraid. My various pot herbs are growing well too that one is Mitsuba, and is really quite pretty. I had to cut back and fix a lot of things this week, as the heat (while sustaining my tomato plant) is doing the rest of my garden no favors. 81 a couple of days ago, in the 70s today. IN NOVEMBER.

My favorite treat would be if the rains would come soon. Wet season is my favorite season.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 3:33 PM on November 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

Hot chocolate to start the day and hot chocolate with orange liqueur for a bedtime treat: bookends a day wonderfully.
posted by mightshould at 3:38 PM on November 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

Baking-wise, it's time for the double chocolate pumpkin bread.

I just about always go to Thanksgiving dinner at the house of a Catholic friend, and she has me fry up some latkes to go along with the turkey (we joke that this is our contribution to local interfaith relations). Hanukkah starts on December 2 this year, so the latkes are sort of timely.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:45 PM on November 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

Northern hemisphere. It’s an excuse to make stuffing/dressing, which I really love.

Also, I read the title as “Seasonal Threats,” which made me pause....
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:50 PM on November 3, 2018 [6 favorites]


Prawn, mango and avocado salad. It's on our annual Christmas lunch menu, and it's divine. Mangoes are just about the good thing about summer imho.

I've been making a fruit salad every week now it's warmed up, mixing in some natural yoghurt and chopped mint, then munching on it slowly over three days or so. Yummmm.

Also, if you like iced tea, I've been making iced milk tea with lapsang souchong. You might not think so but the smokiness really works!
posted by smoke at 3:54 PM on November 3, 2018 [16 favorites]

It was 93 degrees here in Southern California yesterday, but apple cider's back on the shelves and I was first in line.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:58 PM on November 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Rain. Hot cocoa and tea. Fires. Reading books. Naps.

I really do like the rain. It's been too warm and dry for this part of the world all summer and unseasonably warm again, so it's definitely a welcome treat for many of us right now. I've been really enjoying the wild range of thick fogs, roiling clouds and a wide variety of rain from a mizzle so fine it's practically fog to downbursts with big, fat noisy rain drops.

A friend is taking me camping out to one of their favorite spots in the Olympics in a few weeks for my birthday and I'm really looking forward to this. For one it'll probably involve rain, fire and hot cocoa and all of the above. For another, I'm not really doing any of the planning and camp-nerding out I usually do and am content to trust their skills and let someone else lead for once. We've camped together a few times already because it's what folks do around here and we get along just fine. I know I don't have to show off, nor be overprepared.

"I think I want to make a rocket stove," I'll say. "I have one." they'll say. Heck, I was sitting in their car and wondering how some of my very particular utility clips got in the car, but they're not mine.

Between the two of us we have enough gear and skills to practically start a dang homestead and we're just going car camping, so it'll be more like glamping with plenty of firewood and some cast iron in the kitchen and real food.
posted by loquacious at 4:12 PM on November 3, 2018 [11 favorites]

This is the time of year we buy a big jug of cider from the local orchard and take swigs straight from the container every time we pass the fridge.

I’m also very much hoping that we have a snowy, sunny, and ice cold winter; we did two years ago, and the XC skiing was *chef kisses fingers*. Last year was soggy and grey and temperate and and we didn’t get out once since the trails were so shitty. I hadn’t realized how much the ability to be active in the winter sunshine helps with SAD!
posted by stellaluna at 4:20 PM on November 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

Rooibos tea, lentil soup, pumpkin soup, potato soup, flannel pyjamas and a hot water bottle. Oh, and Federweißer, since I live in a wine-growing area.
posted by amf at 4:26 PM on November 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

This is my favourite time of year. I loathe summer. The clear bright cold light at this time of year is good, as is the grey - we need more grey around us (I do not mean that muted interior design thing). It is cool enough for the weather not to stop me doing things. It is weather of possibility.

I worry about the feral cat living in my garden as winter approaches though. A friend may give me her chicken coop to repurpose as a penthouse for him, but I imagine he will be fire and wind and sneer at it.

I also worry about my father, who has dementia and recently moved out of his partner's house to live on a boat. I am trying to see him one day a week, which means a full day as he will not easily be shifted from the warmth and biscuits at mine. My working days have gone up from three to five which is bad times and means I have no time.

Things are limping along in the school for which I am a governor. The LA is making noises about the next step towards special measures. Everything is tiring, even with the comforting grey.

And to answer the question, lebkuchen.
posted by paduasoy at 4:29 PM on November 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

The rural parts of the East Midlands of England. Swedish-style cinnamon thins, cheese fondue, and double-stacked sponge cakes eaten in front of a roaring fire.

+ + + + +

Winter is definitely here. Being well into November results in shorter days, longer nights, and the approach of Christmas as marked by the ads, supermarket displays, festive dinner bookings being filled in some places, and the filling out of the TV schedule for December 25th and the days around. The John Lewis Christmas ad, the now-traditional mark of "peak season", will be upon us in a few days, probably straight after this short period of bonfire, fireworks (which are sounding as I type this) and remembrance events. Technically, as some shops started selling seasonal goods at the start of September, we are in the latter half of the Christmas season already; apart from foods that will go off before the day, I've largely finished my shopping for gifts, cards and nibbles. Two of my neighbours finished theirs in October.

So autumn now recedes distantly in the rear view mirror, and with it the village harvest events and accompanying foods (and more cake). It's been a noticeably warmer than usual autumn, here in rural England, and not as wet as usual. And it was good to conclude the season (which, for me, always finishes at sunset on October 31st) with some fish and chips in the pub after a walk around the village.

Last winter was seemingly relentlessly rainy. Part of me hopes that this winter is less so, enabling more trips out; but the more logical part of me, which has looked at the still-low level of reservoirs, knows that rain is needed else a hot and dry spring and/or summer is going to be seriously problematic. Note to self: ensure that next summer I'm in a place where there's no concern about water coming out of the tap. Hmmm.

But for now, a long and ... interesting ... winter has begun. A trip out on the steam train today through the countryside to the south was pleasant, though the next time I take a slow train somewhere, I would prefer to see more (non-human) wildlife in adjoining fields and less people dogging (how they did not hear a steam train coming is bizarre). Two stations down the line is the stop for possibly my favourite railway cafe outside of Worcestershire, which led to a nice slice of coffee and walnut cake being chosen. So that was good.

May this season continue in much the same manner (apart from the unexpected hedgerow nudity).
posted by Wordshore at 4:55 PM on November 3, 2018 [20 favorites]

Baking-wise, it's time for the double chocolate pumpkin bread.

Soooooo, is this a recipe you’re willing to share?
posted by Secret Sparrow at 4:56 PM on November 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Northern hemisphere- Alaska. Household Charmedimsure is SO EXCITED about winter recreational opportunities. We got snow on Monday and it finally really froze this week, which means fat tire biking on the beach mudflats, which are only accessible in the winter. It is so, so stark and beautiful. The singletrack trails are also fun on bikes in the snow, but the flats: man. The dog really, really approves.

Just got word that our favorite marsh has 3” of ice, so we’ll try our first skating expedition tomorrow. Still not enough snow for cross-country skiing or (better!) skijoring with the dog, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed. We have been really trying to embrace winter the last few years and are saner for it.

Also, a teacher friend at my school posted this video (sorry, Facebook) of moose eating Halloween pumpkins on his porch a couple days ago- a true Anchorage early winter tradition- and somehow the last time I looked it had like 20 million views. I knew him when.
posted by charmedimsure at 5:04 PM on November 3, 2018 [13 favorites]

Northern hemisphere, USA, KY: soon (maybe even the end of this coming week) we might have a hard freeze and the last of the ragweed will DIEDIEDIE and I may be able to put down the Kleenex and breathe again.

Also then it will be the right weather to make soup (split pea or spinach lentil), maybe bake bread, and sleep in the flannel sheets.
posted by dilettante at 5:08 PM on November 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

The last time I lived in Sweden some in-laws always made a smorgasbord every Christmas, and it was wonderful. They no longer do that and I am not sure how to replace it or anything how or if I will celebrate Christmas this year. But I do want to honor winter in somewhere and would love to find some trade or treats to enjoy. I am personally attempting to stay away from cake and similar sweets so I expect to enjoy more cheese and start eating smoked fish, both of which are tasty.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:25 PM on November 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Southeast US. It's cooler enough now that I finally have a cat scarf again. She avoids all snuggles over the summer because it's just too damn hot.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:27 PM on November 3, 2018 [13 favorites]

So Cal, the alley pomegranates are on! Bought some organic ones at the farmer's market today. The fall fruits are abundant this time of year, aside from pomegranates, I bought three kinds of pluots, red peppers, new garlic, organic yellow peaches, a few dates and tasted my first Chinese date. My fruit bowl runneth over.

My neighbors asked me if I ever drank sweet wine. They accidentally bought some Stella Rosa Black. This is like Welches and vodka, pretty much. But I think I can use it as the water for a raised Holiday bread. I am gonna try this. I made a pot of chili verde yesterday. I roasted the meat and peppers on the grill. Those pasillas were hot this time! This is tasty though, I love freezing portions of this for later on. It is wonderfully cool at night now.
posted by Oyéah at 5:32 PM on November 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Cold and rainy in northern New England, USA. Cincinnati Chili. Usually a vegetarian version. I make a huge batch and eat it for days and days.
posted by JanetLand at 5:37 PM on November 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

I like mulled wine and hot apple cider. I also appreciate the knitting inspiration that comes from chillier days. And I realized recently that raking is the best yard chore. Mowing in the summer is miserable, because it's hot, and shoveling snow is the worst. But the weather is nice when you're raking, and it's satisfying to put things in nice, tidy piles.

I spent eight hours canvassing today and am scheduled for six more tomorrow. Will be glad when the election is over. Have to spend tonight figuring out how to write recursive functions. Send hot beverages and chocolate, please!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:37 PM on November 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

Butternut squash, baked with butter and maple syrup in the cavity. I will have to buy them because the !*#! ground hog nibbled all but two before I covered them with wire baskets. And a glass of cream sherry, fire in the wood stove and some socks on the knitting needles.
posted by Botanizer at 5:40 PM on November 3, 2018 [9 favorites]

Northern California. It's still in the mid-80s during the day, though at least we're getting into the low 40s at night. I was walking around my house yesterday evening saying, "I JUST WANT TO BE COOOOOOOOOLD!" So I am looking forward to cold temperatures, though it's more of a hope than a given that we'll get them.

Also looking forward to all the braised and roasted foods, especially vegetables. I love to cook but I am discovering that I just generally dislike most summer vegetables, and I don't eat much fruit, and I am a happier person when I can put something in the oven for a long time and cuddle up with a bowl of warm root-vegetable-heavy food.

Compromising tonight, season-wise, with tuna steaks braised with chickpeas and radicchio.

There is a great blue heron who's started visiting my yard, and a great egret who stops by occasionally. My yard has no water, so I'm not sure why they come by, but I forget that they do so every year at this time until they start doing so, and then it's a wonderful gift from the universe.
posted by lazuli at 5:43 PM on November 3, 2018 [11 favorites]

Oh, yes, and rain! I am so looking forward to rainy season and so hoping that it is, in fact, rainy this year!
posted by lazuli at 5:45 PM on November 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

I really like the idea - and the smell - of hot spiced apple cider, but whenever I buy a jug of cider at the greenmarket I end up drinking it all plain and cold, which is even better.
posted by moonmilk at 5:46 PM on November 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Also, if you like iced tea, I've been making iced milk tea with lapsang souchong. You might not think so but the smokiness really works!
posted by smoke at 3:54 PM on November 3

I think this is the first time I get to post "Eponysterical"! That's an exciting seasonal treat.
posted by lazuli at 5:47 PM on November 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Stuffing. Gimme all that stuffing.

Also I spent the day in Reno with a new friend from work and I had a fabulous time.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:08 PM on November 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Northern Hemisphere, Seattle. The transitional seasons are my favorite, and fall is the better one for me. I like the weather (big windy sunny days, cozy clouds and rain that don't feel oppressive yet). I like the produce that's ripe. I like wearing four layers and removing and putting on things as the temperature changes. I like sleeping under a pile of warm blankets with the window open a crack. I like going to the beach when no one is there but wet enthusiastic dogs. I like the avalanches of bright leaves. Winter squashes - like, all of them - and spicy soups are a treat, and my favorite brewery's lovely winter beer has been released. I'm trying to outweigh the emotional burden of my currently-yucky life with all this sensory input and it's almost working.
posted by centrifugal at 6:22 PM on November 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

It's early November, so it's nearly time for my family's Practice Thanksgiving party... which my parents have been doing for forty-one years now. Originally, it came into being when they were grad students and came across a Weird Turkey Recipe and used it as an excuse for a party. It's now a huge house party (< 80 people is a small year!), and when Dr Bored for Science and I lived in CA, we'd fly back to MA for it, rather than Real Thanksgiving.

We had a weird and gross warm/humid snap here (I should not need to run the Air Conditioner of DOOM as a dehumidifier in Cambridge in November, damn it), but that broke today with 40+ MPH wind gusts.

In terms of baking, I made apple dumplings with puff pastry (yay for Trader Joe's puff!) last night, and between really good apples, rolling the puff out to thin it, and dumping a bunch of sugar on top, I pretty much replicated the apple dumplings of my youth (which, incidentally, still exist - just drive out to Bolton Spring Farm). Sometimes, I just want them without the 45 min drive.

I have a recipe for one of my favorite cookies from growing up, but in the way of family recipes, something isn't quite right between my memories and the result. So, I see some cookie experiments in my near future.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 6:29 PM on November 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

Last year I made apple butter and it came out pretty mediocre and we dutifully munched our way through some of it. This year I made it a bit more carefully and it's turned out great, so I'm really glad I gave it a second shot.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:02 PM on November 3, 2018 [10 favorites]

Northern Hemisphere and it is eggnog season! I bought my first little bottle this week and it was wonderful. I know it used to be a year-round drink -- and I know how to make it and could have it be so again -- but I like that it's special for this time of year.
posted by kalimac at 7:18 PM on November 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

My winter specials are crock pot ham hocks (really smoked shanks, which have a lot more meat on them), and pasta fazool.
posted by rhizome at 7:45 PM on November 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Stinking hot in SE Qld, Australia, so of course for dinner last night I made beef stroganoff with diced beef cheeks and every kind of mushroom I could find. Our droplets of sweat into the plates added extra seasoning.
posted by h00py at 7:54 PM on November 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

Allegedly northen hemisphere; it’s finally dipping below 80 degrees Fahrenheit here in very southern Florida. The avocados are finally ripening in the giant tree out back. I sent all he could reach back to college with my son, for benefit of ravenous students and their insatiable appetite for guacamole and avocado toast. Sadly, most of the harvest is out of human reach. The squirrels are feasting, and throwing the green missiles down, betimes, at me and my tiny dog.

I am looking forward to my young man returning home, and to baking for my family all the many treats they love that I cannot eat. However... the young man’s significant other has celiac. So I’m now motivated to make some cookies of a nature that I can enjoy, too!

What I’m most looking forward to right now is our traditional Thanksgiving first course: Italian wedding soup. It is warm and filling and I had it for the first time, with trepidation, when sharing my first holiday with my new boyfriend’s family. (My previous Thanksgiving, away at school, far from my own family of birth, estranged from many of them, newly alone, that holiday had featured leftover pizza and solitude.) I have always had weird food issues, so I worried that Thanksgiving about what might happen when I first sampled this strange new dish, but I lifted my spoonful of garlic-fragrant escarole and broth and sipped. And it was delicious. And my body said yes, this will do. And I ate it all, warmed by the companionship and generosity and welcome even more than by the dish.

We served this soup at our wedding reception, home-made by my husband’s mother and grandmother. Decades have passed now, and long years of marriage, and many many holidays together. And I was taught to make this dish by those same strong women, and I am very grateful.

I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving, and our traditional first course. The wedding soup ... it tastes like belonging.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 8:01 PM on November 3, 2018 [16 favorites]

Northern: Port, walnuts, and blue cheese. Sweet, bitter, salty, and stinky, just like I like my . . . never mind. I love this combination so much.
posted by HotToddy at 8:13 PM on November 3, 2018 [9 favorites]

There is no upper limit to the number of holiday sugar cookies I can eat, as far as I can tell, but few people make them from scratch anymore and the depressing soft store bakery kind are all wrong. So I am wondering if I should exercise restraint by way of not making them or make them the way I like them and eat myself to death. Still dithering on that.

My family has joined me in feeling meh about Thanksgiving foods so we are doing Mexigiving this year, tamales and enchiladas and fajitas. I love them more for it.

We've had torrential rains here this year, so I am kind if over rain and treasuring whatever cool sunny days we get. Those are what I need from fall. We're supposed to get one tomorrow so we're going to the park.
posted by emjaybee at 8:41 PM on November 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

Persimmons are in here in NorCal, although it was in the 80s today. I went wine-tasting in Alameda today, and we sat outside in the sun and petted the Golden-Corgi and couldn't believe it's November.

In the fall I make fruitcake--this year I got it done in late September, and I've already dosed it twice with brandy. I will probably make pumpkin bread soon, although I did make pumpkin scones this last week for the office, and they were well received.

I love the dried leaves on the ground, and the sound of my feet scuffing through them. It's not the same as the leaves in New England when I was growing up, but it's still nice. And it is pleasant to have warm days, so you can sit out on the porch into November.
posted by suelac at 8:58 PM on November 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

Chez Grumpybear69 is hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, ever, so that's the real seasonal treat. We just ordered 20 mugs, 20 dinner & salad plates, 20 rooster place settings and 20 napkins, all of which will look lovely in our newly painted living room. It is going to be stressful and amazing!
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:58 PM on November 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

We also actually call this eggnog season around my house.
posted by bongo_x at 1:00 AM on November 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

Planning on raking myself a big pile of leaves today at work and laying down in it for a moment before bringing it to the compost heap.

I’m leading our holiday lights display for the fourth year and am vacillating between stress and anticipation of how pretty it will look. During the process I set the lights on timers to be on from 6-7:30 am and arrive early to work every morning to see the lights as they progress during the approximately monthlong set up. This helps troubleshoot the display but there’s something lovely about walking alone in a dark garden with the lights all to one’s self. (Not entirely accurate as I bring my toddler with me on his way to daycare.)

Right now fall foliage is at its peak and the view from the gardens across the Hudson to the Palisades is a wonder. Everyone keeps stopping to look. Next will be the first snow outlining the cliffs. New York City area people: you should take the metro north Hudson line heading north this week.

Food treats: apples from the CSA have been wonderful this year. My first experience of stealing my kid’s Halloween candy was sneakily delicious.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:07 AM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

I’m back home in south east England for my granny’s 98th birthday, and it is the perfect winter weather, cold and sunny. Been to the beach twice and it was gorgeous. I’m looking forward to hot chocolate at the weekends.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:14 AM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

My SO starts crumpet season sometime in October. Mulling season she holds off till December. However since tomorrow is bonfire night this weekend required treacle toffee so l made some yesterday and it came out pretty well. Could maybe have used a bit more treacle but was a bit softer than usual and better for it.
posted by biffa at 3:43 AM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Northern hemisphere, central Spain. It's quite chilly at night, dips down to just above freezing. Days are in the 70s (F, that's high teens Celsius).

The greatest seasonal treat I'm looking forward to, and which I actually had for the first time on Halloween, is PANETTONE!!!! Boxes and boxes of it in every grocery store! Eat it for snack, eat it for dessert, have it toasted under the broiler for breakfast!! God, I love panettone. God bless the Italians.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 4:13 AM on November 4, 2018 [9 favorites]

That's interesting lolly, I was wondering why someone had brought panettone to the bonfire party last night but it was an international affair with definitely at least one Italian so that likely explains it.
posted by biffa at 4:52 AM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Here in the Low Lands, it's the season for stewed pears. I have a bunch of Gieser Wildeman (a pear that's meant for stewing, and can't be eaten raw), and I'm making some for dessert tonight; the whole house will smell of cinnamon and sweetness this afternoon.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:15 AM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Today I picked about 20lbs of pecans. This has been the first year that the tree has really produced nuts. There are quite a few left, but I need to borrow one of my neighbor's orchard ladders to get at them. Now I've got to wait a couple weeks for them to dry out so I can use them.
posted by Tenuki at 5:18 AM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Roast squash. Curried squash soup. Stuffing with roasted squash and sausage, a meal in itself.
Soup and stews, warming and hearty. I made pot roast to share with friends, and apple crisp for a potluck.
Gingerbread with lemon glaze.
Apple cider.
In New England, it's been a cold and rainy fall, but it cleared last night; when I got home from dance group, it was windy and the stars were bright. Today is brilliantly sunny and clear, a gift. I have lots of wood to stack, so I laugh at calories, until my elbow flared with pain.
posted by theora55 at 6:19 AM on November 4, 2018 [7 favorites]

Northern - Chicago area.
I'm not a huge fan of fall flavors (pumpkin, apple, cinnamon/nutmeg/whathaveyou) , but I do like squash. My CSA is giving me so many dang turnips, which are also pretty good roasted.

My church's biggest fundraiser is a service auction, where people donate different things or activities (for example, brunch and a wildflower hike in a local preserve or a wine tasting party, or 4 hours of handyman work, etc). It was last night, I went for the first time, and it was a blast. I spent wayyyy too much money. Next time I'm not sitting with the social butterflies of the church, because there were activities I was on the fence on, then I saw who was going and thought "oh, I like them! I want to go too!" hah. I have lots of fun outings planned for 2019 at least. I also overspent on a homemade French Silk pie, but I had a slice of it for breakfast this morning and it was delicious, so no regrets.

Tuesday is my birthday (and ELECTION DAY IN THE USA PLEASE VOTE VOTE VOTE!). I took Mon - Weds off of work, so I'm smack dab in the middle of a 5-day staycation. Tomorrow I'm planning on going to Chicago, getting a fancy breakfast, going to the Art Institute, maybe getting a fancy lunch , and hanging with some Mefite friends. V excited.
posted by Fig at 7:05 AM on November 4, 2018 [9 favorites]

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
posted by porn in the woods at 7:34 AM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Fig—pie for breakfast is the best kind of pie!
posted by bookmammal at 8:02 AM on November 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Does the southern hemisphere get chocolate mint specialties in the shops?
posted by brujita at 8:35 AM on November 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

This morning I petted my sunkissed cat, he purred loudly and then started snoring. Life is made of perfect moments like this.

Eggnog is one of those key markers of the season for me, I love this time of year.
posted by arcticseal at 8:56 AM on November 4, 2018 [6 favorites]

Eggnog is the most dangerous one. Since Starbucks taught me I can make lattes with it, I now have to seriously limit myself to not just buying it every time I'm at the store from the moment it arrives. Sometimes being an adult is super hard.
posted by Sequence at 9:07 AM on November 4, 2018 [9 favorites]

Currently eating roasted pumpkin seeds. Love them.
posted by delight at 9:15 AM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Glühwein! Tastes great, makes the house smell great.
posted by neushoorn at 9:23 AM on November 4, 2018 [6 favorites]

Homemade Brunswick Stew - the perfect comfort food for cold fall and winter evenings.
posted by Roger Pittman at 9:26 AM on November 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

In the immediate future: enough dry days in a row so that I can mow/rake up the leaves without getting gross muddy. This is not in the forecast.

But really: that first morning after a decent (let's call that 6 inches/10cm) overnight snowfall, when the backyard is just this pristine white expanse of nothing and we let the dogs out and they zoom around like maniacs.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:32 AM on November 4, 2018 [6 favorites]

Southern hemisphere. Excited about peaches and cherries and mangoes. But I was in the USA a couple of months ago for the middle of our winter, so I feel like it hasn't been THAT long since I had these treats.

I pretty much loathe summer other than that. Right now it's the right weather for evening cocktails in the garden, which is lovely, but that's definitely a spring thing rather than summer because summer is too goddamn hot.

As usual I'm going to try to escape the middle of the worst of it and go to NZ where summers are gentle and lovely (as long as you have good heating and a thick coat). But I'm currently tentatively negotiating a work situation that might mean that trip won't be possible for a few years, and I'll have to survive a whole long hot summer uninterrupted, which is giving me a Sad.
posted by lollusc at 10:02 AM on November 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

We put the second layer of the duvet on the bed this month. I throughly recommend this but it does make it harder to get out of bed though. So cosy.

Otherwise I’m trying to cook through the cupboards/not add things to the fridge or freezer pre-move but looking forward to making a couple batches of soup for the freezer once we're all moved in.
posted by halcyonday at 10:07 AM on November 4, 2018 [6 favorites]


posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:19 AM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Eggnog is the most dangerous one. Since Starbucks taught me I can make lattes with it, I now have to seriously limit myself to not just buying it every time I'm at the store from the moment it arrives. Sometimes being an adult is super hard.

I just add a splash of eggnog in my coffee, instead of my usual addition of milk, but I gleefully buy eggnog as soon as I see it, and around here, that's well before Halloween :)

Halloween to Christmas, with eggnog - our painted pumpkins, and a bloody handprint on our entry door, with the usual jack-o-lantern early eggnog bottles. And then there's our new dinosaur ornaments up on our otherwise bare tree, because holiday decorations make you happy, per science!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM on November 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm going to try and make a big batch of instant Russian tea because it's something we used to do long ago in ages past that seems to have fallen by the wayside over the years. Just something to throw into the mix of the usual hot drinks.

I'm not really big on holidays in general, seasonal here in Southern California is more like "cool enough to use the oven and more than one burner".


On Halloween night I was summoned by a solid jet black cat to do his bidding. I walked out my door and looked to the 2nd floor and he was looking at me with his yellow eyes thinking "Human come here. I need a finger". So I climbed the stairs and he met me at the top for some scritches and purrs. Then I picked him up and walked to his human's door and rang the bell for him. (I've seen him for ages out on his 2nd floor balcony watching the world go by. He probably got bored and jumped down to take a look. He was standing right in front of his human's door just waiting for somebody to ring the bell for him or his human to come out looking for him.)
posted by zengargoyle at 11:06 AM on November 4, 2018 [9 favorites]

zengargoyle please post your Russian Tea recipe. I haven't had it since I was a kid.

I'm addicted to cinnamon and cloves once the weather turns cooler. I wish our apples were as good as the ones in the northeastern US. I love that super crisp crunch where you take a bite and half the apple comes off in 1 big chunk.

The other day Mrs yoga made some banana slices with brown sugar in a frying pan and now I would like them all the time.

Fig Happy Birthday Tuesday! Mine is tomorrow, I'm just hoping like hell for decent election day news. Some of it will decide whether we end up in CO or CA. We definitely want to sell by end of year if possible.
posted by yoga at 11:48 AM on November 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Russian Tea! Yes! One of my partners is from Texas and has the rest of us hooked on it — though she doesn't go for the full Church Basement Realness version, which I gather involves powdered tea and Tang?
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:09 PM on November 4, 2018

I'm hoping to get my hands on the Aldi wine advent calendar this year (11/07) release.

Eggnog as coffee creamer is inspired and I know what I'm having tomorrow for breakfast.
posted by mmmbacon at 12:13 PM on November 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

As the heat subsides in Texas, I look forward to the return of the heat-seeking cats to my bed for the snuggly season. Despite being an atheist and minimal consumer, I enjoy Christmas lights and the scent of pine trees. As a diabetic vegetarian, holiday food is largely a no go, but I do anticipate Wordshore's charming stories of mince pies, village fetes, and other English holiday delights.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:25 PM on November 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Every Thanksgiving my wife's aunt brings these sausage and sage infused biscuits that I love. I call them sausage cookies and I can't stop eating them. They are so good with turkey gravy.
posted by Stanczyk at 1:18 PM on November 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

Happy Birthday yoga !!!
posted by Fig at 1:24 PM on November 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've been over-indulging in ramen and roasted sweet potatoes! I wasn't going to go to The Nutcracker this year, but I got an email about $35 tickets, and then I also got invited to go to a WWII swing dance puzzle room Nutcracker and it was hard to resist... so I am going to be full of Nutcracking after all.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:27 PM on November 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

Eggnog in coffee at breakfast, whiskey in eggnog (or really, eggnog in whiskey) before dinner. I roasted the pumpkin seeds from our jack-o-lanterns and have been snacking on them for the past few days. It's not quite soup season here yet, but I made some stock from the chicken frames I had in the freezer, and the next time it rains I'm going to make avgolemono.

I didn't bake much this summer because we don't have AC, so I'm looking forward to croissants, cookies, pies, and quickbreads this winter.
posted by coppermoss at 1:50 PM on November 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

WWII swing dance puzzle room Nutcracker

That sounds like pure nerd joy.

I really love Thanksgiving, where I always eat too much, because I have a deep, abiding love of stuffing. And this year, the kiddo is old enough that he is actually eating solid food! And has a definite taste for mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese! So it's very exciting.

I've worked close to six hours today, and am getting in early tomorrow, but next weekend, I have booked a delightful trip in my favorite season (mid-fall) with one of my favorite people (a lady who was formerly my work bestie, and left to start her own firm) to one of my favorite cities (New York City) to do a series of my favorite things, including eating fancy Korean food, wandering around fancy museums, staying in a fancy hotel, and eating fancy non-Korean food.

It's hilariously overpriced, but we have a reservation to eat the roast chicken at NoMad, which I'm really hoping lives up to billing.
posted by joyceanmachine at 1:51 PM on November 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Club Drosselmeyer, in case any Boston-area mefites want to join.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:03 PM on November 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

yoga, I'm pretty sure my Russian Tea is nebulawindphone's Church Basement Realness version. Sugar, Tang, Instant Tea and Lemonade, Cinnamon, Cloves, who knows. Totally just a container full of powder that you put in hot water.

OMG just remembered that I have 'not granny's church cookbook' (because I asked for it and got an edition that came out a year after I left town....) but it's probably close enough...

Russian Tea
1c instant tea
2c Tang
1 (3oz) package Wyler's lemonade mix
1c sugar
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp cloves
1tsp ginger

1 heaping Tbs per cup

Hot Spiced Tea
1 (9oz) jar instant breakfast drink (orange)
1/2c sugar
1/3c instant tea
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp ground cloves
dash of salt

2tsp per cup

Spiced Hot Tea (the hard way)
4 (4in) cinnamon sticks
1Tbs whole cloves
3qt water
4Tbs instant tea (or 4 teabags)
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2c lemon juice
1qt pineapple juice

Boil cloves and cinnamon in water until desired color is reached. Strain (you can reuse cloves/cinnamon for 2nd batch). Add or Steep tea. Add remaining ingredients. Serve hot.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:12 PM on November 4, 2018 [7 favorites]

It doesn't really get that cold in Florida. But that is no reason not to have slow cooker brisket.
posted by Splunge at 2:25 PM on November 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yeah, zengargoyle's hard way is pretty much what we do: hot steeped tea, and fruit juice that's been simmered like mulled cider with cinnamon and clove.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:27 PM on November 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Club Drosselmeyer, in case any Boston-area mefites want to join.

We went to that a couple of years ago and it was a blast!

This time of year I would normally be slaughtering a pig, but our supplier moved away so we don't have any this year. I'll need to start making sausages for the holidays soon, but I'm also going to be missing most of the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas due to work travel which kind of puts a damper on the season.
posted by backseatpilot at 3:07 PM on November 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

yummy yummy yummy thanks zengargoyle and nebulawindphone!

And Happy Birthday to you too Fig!!
posted by yoga at 3:16 PM on November 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Southern Hemisphere - looking forward to summer fruits, especially lychees and mangoes coming into season. Someone at work brought this strawberry and watermelon cake in today, and it is amazing - so delicious and refreshing. I am saving the recipe to make it for Christmas lunch this year.
posted by fever-trees at 4:10 PM on November 4, 2018 [8 favorites]

A little early but it's almost time for Stuffin' Muffins! Everything that would go into stuffing, plus a few dried cranberries, baked into muffin cups. Delish and the kids love them too. Win/win.
posted by vignettist at 4:23 PM on November 4, 2018 [8 favorites]

My sister's Christmas Brunch is my favorite celebration of the year. She's been hosting it every since she they bought their house, which I believe was in 1996, and in that time I only have missed it the year I was in the hospital from a pulmonary embolism. My sister, to be honest, loves to host a party more than she loves to cook, so it's a lot of crock pot soups, frozen finger foods from Costco, etc. My favorite that makes a perennial appearance is that most middle-class midwestern of takes on brie in puff pastry: a block of cream cheese wrapped in crescent roll dough and baked until golden flaky on the outside and soft in the middle.

I'm also on Team Stuffing, and during the winter I also treat myself to champurrado.
posted by drlith at 5:49 PM on November 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Fever-trees, that cake looks fantastic!

I'm in the Northern hemisphere (Canada), so it's the season of soups and teas and other warm things. I spent about 4 hours yesterday making the Serious Eats Vegan Ramen, which was deliscious. I like a good (slightly fussy) cooking project.

Now that we've turned the clocks back, it's dark ridiculously early, and i'm not loving that over much.
posted by platitudipus at 6:19 PM on November 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yeah, tonight was the first night of clocks-back here in the US, and it's dark very early. Which will eventually translate into my going to bed early, which will be good, but right now just feels very sad.
posted by lazuli at 6:21 PM on November 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

So, after consulting with my brother (who is a chef by profession, although I'm the baker in our generation), we decided that the issue with the cookies was that they had Insufficient Butter.

So I doubled it. And it worked.

And we have the cookies of our youth, as best I can recall. The real test will be a week from today, because Dr Bored for Science and I are going to bring a batch to Practice Thanksgiving, and my grandparents are coming, so we can really test it. My grandmother, at 89, doesn't bake anymore, and I'd bet my grandfather (91) misses these cookies.

Could my brother and I have just asked my grandmother for the recipe? Sure. But she's famous for playing with recipes at will and whim, and it was more fun to deduce it.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 6:23 PM on November 4, 2018 [6 favorites]

The other day Mrs yoga made some banana slices with brown sugar in a frying pan and now I would like them all the time.
What you and Mrs. yoga want is maduros, sweet plantains. They look like bananas with ideas above their station and fry up deliciously sweet and firm.

Also, happy birthday to you and also to Fig!
posted by huimangm at 6:44 PM on November 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

A little early but it's almost time for Stuffin' Muffins! Everything that would go into stuffing, plus a few dried cranberries, baked into muffin cups. Delish and the kids love them too. Win/win.

I make the stuffing into balll, wrap them in foil, and bake. But your way probably gives them a lovely crust.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:05 PM on November 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

A homebrew stout or English ale enjoyed in front of a nice fire.
posted by jabo at 10:33 PM on November 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Flannel. Flannel sheets, flannel quilts, flannel shirts, and lots of long, long-sleeved flannel nightgowns. It's like sleeping in a soft little pocket of Heaven.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:00 AM on November 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

Holidays in cold miserable weather, especially if there are hateful in-laws involved, is epic movie trilogy time. Started with Star Wars of course, then Lord of the Rings but now includes Batman, Die Hard, the Avengers, hell I’ll do the Before Sunrise trilogy now. As long as it involves whiskey, wool socks, fire in the fireplace, something yummy in the slow cooker, and talking minimally with people I have nothing to say to. I’d really like to replace this with Red Dead Refemption II but honestly I can’t think of a scenario where I will *ever* have that much free time in my life ever again and not being accused of being “antisocial” although watching Harry Potter with my mouth open brain dead and drooling with the kids seems perfectly acceptable to the family.

In conslusion, I live in Seattle because I love to hibernate and also whiskey.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:50 AM on November 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

Cranberries are in the shops early, so I just bought some for cranberry kissel. It's still about a month until dry fruit mix for compote appears, but I'm planning to stock up on that enough to last me the entire winter, with proper smoked pears.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 2:32 AM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

it's almost time for Stuffin' Muffins!

Now I'm going to have Mojo Nixon in my head all day.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:31 AM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

My kitchen is currently undergoing major renovations so right now if it can't be microwaved or instantpotted, I can't make it and I officially hate this thread and each and every one of you.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:56 AM on November 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Hands up who else felt INCREDIBLY late for work this morning?
posted by elsietheeel at 7:02 AM on November 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

CTRL-F for "cider donuts"



Also we had Boston Cream Pie (not a pie!) in a diner last night after a long walk at Mount Auburn Cemetery (in full foliage glory) with hot mugs of coffee and whatever it was I may have thought was a thing I wanted, it turns out that is what I wanted.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:14 AM on November 5, 2018 [5 favorites]

Thanks for the tip, huimangm, I'll see if I can find plantains in the grocery!
posted by yoga at 7:49 AM on November 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by y2karl at 8:07 AM on November 5, 2018

Have mentioned elsewhere in posts that my family is a supplier for Ocean Spray. Every year at about this time I get a shipment of berries from the parents (read: two ziploc baggies packed full from the bushel my parents save aside after harvesting, packed in a Priority Mail box and sent to me), and this gets spread throughout various baked goods before any remaining berries get thrown into the freezer. This year, though, I'm going to be attending a FriendsGiving and have already said I will be bringing cranberry orange relish* and a cranberry cake.

I also made a big batch of another Moosewood recipe I return to every year - cheese pasties, a veggie-friendly pasty recipe that packs a lot of vegetables into you but also has some cheese to make you happy. I swap out the turnip in the original recipe for a parsnip, and just use store-bought pie crust; about two and a half boxes do the trick, with enough scraps left over to make myself a little single-serving apple galette.

I also have a couple of butternut squash recipes. I'm actually not a fan of butternut squash soup recipes that add a lot of sweet elements like orange juice or carrots or apple or anything like that, and go with a soup that's so easy you don't even need a recipe - you dump chopped butternut squash into a soup pot, add a couple of whole garlic cloves, then add just enough water to barely cover everything. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about a half hour until the squash is soft. Add some chopped fresh sage, puree everything, and then gently reheat and add salt to taste (I often don't even do the salt). ....And then at the other end of the "ease" scale - I have a risotto recipe that calls for cubed butternut squash and hazelnuts, which is a seriously "fall" combination.

I also make pumpkin bread, throwing in some roasted cacao nibs instead of adding nuts. And the pain d'epices bread from Clotilde Dusolier's first cookbook which is like the best gingerbread ever. Mulled cider too.

As we get past Thanksgiving and into Christmas:

These cookies look fairly fancy but are super-easy. I blew someone's mind making these in a MeFi cookie swap once. I also was gifted this cookbook at a temp job one year, and it is fantastic - I try making at least one new recipe every Christmas, and also end up baking a batch of something else I've made from it before (there's a mocha cookie recipe that's easy, makes a ton, and a friend of mine devours if I've got any in the house when she comes to visit).

I was on a German-Christmas-Fair kick last Christmas, and tried making a batch of German candied almonds - so easy and so good. I'm going to make this a regular staple.

I also tend to make hot cocoa the real way, by melting chopped chocolate into hot milk. This has been a fun resource for ideas to tweak that formula by adding other flavorings, and even spiking it; hot cocoa and amaretto is lovely. Also, a couple years ago there was a brief food blog craze for adding red wine to hot chocolate, and it works surprisingly well; it tastes kind of like you just chose a chocolate with a particularly fruity note when you made your from-scratch cocoa.

* This is the only cranberry relish recipe you need:

Take one bag of fresh cranberries and dump it into a food processor. Then take one seedless orange and wash it off; DO NOT PEEL IT, just cut it into wedges and throw that in the food processor. Process until everything's chopped up. Taste before adding any sugar; odds are you won't need to. This is all you need to do.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:31 AM on November 5, 2018 [14 favorites]

Cranberries are my second favorite berry, and you can only really find them between now and Christmas, so I just went and bought three bags this weekend from my local market. I still have a few of last year's in the freezer, but I don't care. Cranberries for everyone!

On the agenda is a cranberry cream pie, cranberry shortbread cookies, and possibly a cranberry pumpkin cheesecake. I'm thinking I might use goat cheese for the cheese cake since cranberry and goat cheese is delish, and I think it'd work with the pumpkin? I'm game for experimenting, if nothing else!
posted by PearlRose at 10:52 AM on November 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

EC, can you send me the cheese pasties recipe? The site isn’t available in the EU.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:04 PM on November 5, 2018

Will do! It's dead easy, actually.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:08 PM on November 5, 2018

GeniusKitchen is geofenced? Just yelled at them on Twitter.
posted by rhizome at 1:29 PM on November 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

The last of the apples got pressed last weekend, so we glugged the last of the truly fresh cider. Some will be pressure-canned for later in the year, and the rest is on its way to being hard cider. Same for pears - fresh juice (more like nectar, it's so thick), and on its way to hard cider.
Our kitchen remodel is finally done, and we're (too) slowly unpacking, but it is a delight to have a functioning kitchen again, with lights *everywhere*!
EmpressCallipygos, I make the same cranberry relish, with the addition of some walnuts for added crunch. It is my absolute favorite thing about Thanksgiving dinner. My grandma used to make it by putting everything through the hand-cranked meat grinder and squeeky-pop of cranberries going through, coupled with the tang of a fresh orange being sluiced through is also a favorite memory.
posted by dbmcd at 3:16 PM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Happy birthday fig!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:11 AM on November 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Enjoying the posts. Just a word of caution for anyone that decides to make the German candied almonds: I misunderstood the recipe since it was spread across photos and text (a pernicious practice common on cooking blogs, but the fault was mine) and thought that you were supposed to cook them until the sugar reliquifies and later becomes bumpy. Instead you are supposed to cook them until the sugar mostly liquifies. The result of my version is a sort of horrible burnt-almond Cthulu-brittle which never comes off of any surface. I may try the recipe again after my ego recovers.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 11:04 AM on November 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

The result of my version is a sort of horrible burnt-almond Cthulu-brittle which never comes off of any surface.

posted by bongo_x at 7:56 PM on November 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

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