Autumn Curry

I love going to my local Farmer’s Markets! There is something about seeing, smelling, and touching all the foods of the season — freshly picked and brought to this festival of the senses — that really grounds me in the present. For this moment, and this moment alone, this particular vegetable is at its peak. It is at its most flavorful, most juicy, most sweet… and for the rest of the year, I’ll remember that taste and anticipate next year when I can have it again.

While I’m far from perfect, I do try to eat seasonally. There are many foods I just won’t buy out of season. Even though our local markets go through the trouble to import watermelons all year, I won’t buy them. They just never taste right unless it’s fresh off the vine and full of seeds. I’m not willing to sacrifice the taste for the sub-par experience of off-season watermelon. Plus, it gives me something to anticipate. This year, when I first saw watermelons at Market, I exuded such an ecstatic squeal, a woman standing nearby gave me a standing ovation and told me I made her day by my enthusiasm.

The other great part about Market is being visually stimulated into the seasonal shifts. Last week, I began to experience pumpkins, squash, an even greater abundance of mushrooms, and lots of root veggies. Right then, I began to gear my mind toward stews and curries. The weather has now shifted to match the season and I am grateful for warm, thick, foods full of autumn colors. I couldn’t wait to get home and turn all these orange, red, and umber colored foods into a gently bubbling cauldron of yumminess.
French Oven
The first stew of the season ended in a bit of tragedy when my beautiful stoneware pot broke. Luckily, it was early on and I started over in my old 4-quart stainless steel pot. When I returned from Seattle, my amazing hubby had bought a 6.5-quart French Oven in blazing hot red! I have a new cauldron, Ladies and Gentlemen! It’s French double glazed cast iron and huge! Isn’t she beautiful! He even made me a curry in it so I’d have something to eat when I returned from a long day on the train. See, amazing husband, right?

This is my first curry in the cauldron, an autumn symphony of succulence! Since I’m horrible at ever measuring anything, I’ll just list most of the ingredients:
pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, celery, capsicum, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, stevia leaves, home-made hemp nut milk, and a palm-sized ball of curry paste.

Autumn CurrySince I’m deathly allergic to cinnamon, I make my own curry. Over the years, I’ve cultivated quite a collection of herbs and spices in my pantry, so it’s no trouble to make my own. Plus, after a cooking class in Malaysia along with a visit to their local market where I witnessed an amazing woman making custom curry pastes for sale, and a purchase of a really big stone mortar and pestle, there’s not much I can’t pull together. My paste for this curry was just a basic curry, not specific to any region or ethnicity. I included curry leaves, turmeric, coriander, cumin, clove, paprika, peppercorns, mustard seeds, celery seeds, garden stevia, garden rosemary, garden Vietnamese coriander, and maybe more that I’m not remembering, all ground together and bound by olive oil into a paste.

The end result, when served with a dark, leafy green freshly tossed into my bowl and chili spice to the individual’s taste, is delicious. I made it Wednesday afternoon and didn’t bother serving it until Thursday. By then, the flavors had mingled into something spectacular. Plus, the extra 2.5-quart space in the new French oven left me plenty of room to stir and cook down. I was constantly running into space issues in the 4-quart pot. Yay new cookware! And, I’m going to Market today to buy another pumpkin and some more kale. Yay autumn!

Breathe deeply,
Laugh with abandon,
Love wholly,
Eat well.

MiLady Carol

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