When I lived in Los Angeles, my adorable old roommate Fredo worked quite a bit and was also a full time student. (By the way, do yourself a favor and click that link. His adorableness is palpable!) Anyway, he lived a rather harried life as one is wont to when juggling multiple priorities and rarely did normal things like, you know, grocery shop. But somehow he would always manage to bring home arbitrary hand me down food items -- from his mother, from a professor, from a restaurant, who knows -- and it was a common subject of amusement among our other roommate Kelly and I. He was very good natured about our ribbing, but the random morsels were always an easy target -- in fact, there was even a lovely John Mayer cover tune about an Economy Sized tub of Soft Spread that showed up in our fridge one day and seriously, almost 10 years later when I even think about margarine I still get a bit of a chuckle!
So one week, he brought home an entire bowl of persimmons. I woke up one morning and our empty fruit bowl was overflowing with exotic orange fruit and of course, mostly because we were jerks, we turned our up noses just like we did when we brewed a smoky, hot pot of Lapsang Souchong. To this day I have not acquired a taste for Lapsang (or any China Black teas, really) but oh my god -- persimmons? I take back every bad word I ever said. I can't imagine a time when I didn't love them, and the following are two fun recipes featuring persimmons courtesy of Garrett over at Vanilla Garlic (who by the way is from Sacramento -- Can I get a little love for the local food bloggers? whoop whoop!):
Persimmon Chips -- I haven't made these but they look like an awesome alternative to the Office Candy Bowl, which, where I work is like Post-Halloween-Diabetic-Apocalypse waiting to happen. yargh!
Persimmon Bread - I am pretty much enamored with any kind of baked bread, so I'm fairly sure this recipe is a fail safe.
Now, besides the elegant persimmon, the other delight that pretty much wholly represents Fall to me is the butternut squash. If it wasn't such a pain to get my knife through, we might have it with every meal during the autumnal months. Instead I usually reserve it for days when I want to make my dishes with care, and the following are fun ways to incorporate it into your dinnertime routine on perhaps a cold weekend coming up.
Butternut Squash Crumble -- First of all, they had me at crumble, OK. Cheesy, crusty goodness on one of my favorite vegetables? How can you go wrong?
Guatemalan Chicken Stew - Making the same old stew can get a bit boring. I thought this looked like a fun alternative to the traditional meat and potato stew. I haven't tried it, but I just may whip up a batch this weekend.
Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna - First let me tell you that the idea of lasagna does not romance me. It's alright, but never my first choice. But this lasagna -- THIS LASAGNA -- has changed my life. The white sauce, the sage, the bite from the balsamic, the asiago crusted noodles mixing with the tender sweet squash -- if it doesn't change your life I will offer you a money back guarantee. Hands down, the best lasagna I have ever had. It may take every dish in your house to make it (or maybe I'm just betraying our lack of cookware) but it will be worth every delectable bit.
Happy cooking this weekend if you are doing any! After a long week I am looking forward to be a total netflix obsessed, down blanket wrapped, curled up with a good book shut in, but I just may not be able to resist the Farmer's Market tomorrow. Fall won't be around for long, you know.