This is the time of the year when I most miss my childhood home. Glossed and changing leaves, tips curled, blanket the path and create a quilt of color. The air, sweetened and chilled, hangs with a bit more weight. Bins of Macintosh line the path to the pumpkin patch and cider doughnuts punctuate most hikes. The golden before the grey, the crisp before the bitter cold. Autumn in the Adirondacks is hard to beat.
Here, the calendar says fall, the forecast argues, and we learn to pretend. Not with the pumpkin flavored syrups, but with real Maple syrup on pumpkin purée pancakes. The berry smoothies are replaced with Chai Pumpkin, Summer squash yields to Butternut. If you, like me, are wishing for the flavors of autumn, flavors of comfort, I am with you. I bought my first (of many) cans of pumpkin today which means muffins or pancakes are coming soon. Even if I have to turn the A/C a little lower to counter the oven being turned back on.
Pumpkin Chai Smoothie
1/2 cup Pumpkin purée
1 cup almond/coconut milk (or rice, almond, dairy, etc)
6-8 ice cubes
1 Scoop Vega One Vanilla Chai Protein Powder (or any powder and add cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla OR just spices and Chia for protein)
Gluten-Free (or not) Pumpkin Pancakes
2 cups GF flour or regular (I used Namaste)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. Baking powder
1 tsp Baking soda
2 TBSPs Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg, cloves, cardamom
1-2 tsps. cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin purée
2 cups milk (it thickens as it sits so you may need more)
TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix dry ingredients, add wet, cook and enjoy. These were thick and fluffy and took longer to cook than usual pancakes but were totally worth it. serve with REAL Maple Syrup. I'm a stickler for this.
Apple Fennel Relish
1 onion sliced thin
1/2-1 bulb of fennel (about a cup)
1 cup diced apples
splash of oil
2 splashes apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
dash of clove
Sauté onion and fennel until caramelized
Add apples and continue for 10-15 minutes over med-low heat.
Add 2 cups water and cook down (about an hour or so)
Add ACV, clove, and taste.
It should resemble a chutney or jam at this point.
Serve on turkey meatloaf, chicken, pork chops, whatever tickles your fancy.
Photograph by Carl Heilman II taken with permission from the Adirondack Fall Foliage Guide. For more fall foliage and gorgeous views of the Adirondacks, check out Carl's book "Photographing the Adirondacks".