Christina’s Household Hints: The Fruits of Fall
By Christina Shoup
With all the vibrant colors available outside as the crisp air arrives, I always like to bring some of the fall inside my house. Here are a few easy ways to get into the season.
First, simply fill a pretty bowl with assorted ornamental gourds to make an easy and festive centerpiece.
Multicolored decorative corn becomes a lovely fall garland by tying the corn at the base of the husk with butcher’s twine, spacing the corn 6 to 8 inches apart so the corn hangs vertically. To string the corn horizontally, use floral wire to attach the cob to the butcher’s twine.
Winter squash is a colorful fall staple that can be both decorative and delicious. Winter squash is also low in calories, vitamin-rich, and a good source of fiber. Some of the varieties available at this time of year are Buttercup, Blue Hubbard, Delicata and Acorn.
A quick way to prepare acorn squash is to cut it in half and slice it into wedges. Sprinkle the slices with salt, pepper, and brown sugar and roast at 375 degrees for 25 minutes for a delicious fall side dish.
And of course, we can’t forget about pumpkins! Beyond jack-o’-lanterns, they are also very versatile and easy to work with in the kitchen. To have fresh pumpkin pie any time of year, buy some local pie pumpkins while they are in season this month. (The best pie pumpkins are Sugar Baby, Hubbarb or Cinderella.) To roast your pumpkin, cut it in half, remove the seeds and roast at 375 degrees until tender. Scoop the pumpkin off the skin and purée. Freeze the purée in two-cup portions that you can use in recipes throughout the year.
Living in the Crozet area we are lucky to have a bountiful local harvest and beautiful views around us every day. Happy Fall!