Oct 20, 2013

A Pictorial Representation of Some of My Favourite Autumnal Things

fallen autumn leaves
I have the good fortune to work a mere two minutes away from an excellent market with lots of local produce, but even though the thought of visiting it during my lunch break crosses my minds several times a week, most days I don’t make it further than the staff room, where I immediately collapse on the couch. I’ve been in the mood for roast butternut squash soup since early September, though, so one day last week I finally motivated myself to head over. Here’s what I found:

butternut squash and pumpkin
(Let us pretend I didn’t think these were both butternut squashes instead of a pumpkin and a squash.)

And here’s the final result, which I couldn’t have been happier with — worth every second of the epic struggle to cut them in half for roasting:

bowl of butternut squash soup

I’d share the recipe, but my strategy in the kitchen has always been “throw things together and hope for the best”, and I’m beyond hopeless with measurements and quantities. I can tell you I used squash and pumpkin (which I roasted for about forty minutes before chopping them and adding them to the soup pot), one medium potato, and sautéed onion and garlic; and I seasoned it with salt, black pepper, a touch of cumin, and copious amounts of smoked paprika. I’m generally a fan of smoked paprika, but I think it goes particularly well with the flavour of butternut squash. The result was one deliciously creamy and smoky soup, perfect for the chilly day.

roasted pumpkin seeds

Also, I decided to try my hand at roasting and spicing the pumpkin’s seeds, and eep, I had no idea they’d be this delicious. I had to put them away or else I wouldn’t have been able to stop eating them. I had about half a cup and kept dipping into it throughout the day, but I’m pleased to say I managed to save some for a salad.

My second cooking project for the day was apple crumble — this time not with apples from the market, but from my garden’s very own tree.

apple tree

I don’t know if the unusually warm summer has made this a particular good year or what, but I can’t get over how amazing my apple tree is. I didn’t even notice it when I first moved into this house, but we’ve been getting loads and loads of apples. Not only that, but they’re delicious: juicy, very fragrant and incredibly sweet. I know next to nothing about apple varieties, so of course I haven’t been able to identify them. Do any experts out there have thoughts?

apples on the kitchen table

The essential ingredient:

jar of cinnamon

apple crumble out of the oven

And here’s the finished crumble, served with a dollop of cream:

bowl of apple crumble with cream

Moving on to other favourite autumn weekend activities, here’s the book I need to finish writing about and the place where I intend to do it:

couch, knitted throw and a copy of Doll Bones by Holly Black

..and the many, many books I mean to start next:

Pile of books: Hangsman by Shirley Jackson, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Scientists Anonymous by Patricia Fara, Monsters on the Hill by Robert Harrell, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

But I can't do either without a steaming mug by my side.

Mug of tea besides pile of books

Meanwhile, just outside my window:

Squirrel in the garden

I think it's safe to say that my end-of-summer blues are over. Have a great Sunday, everyone.


  1. Wonderful autumn photos. :-)

  2. I love your pictures, those are all things I enjoy about autumn too!
    It has been a stellar year for apples, I think the long winter and the good weather in the summer was just the thing for them. I visited the local orchard two weeks ago and filled a basket with delicious apples. Isn't autumn great?!

  3. This all looks amazing! I love a good apple crisp. And I love fall because the cold means I don't have to feel guilty for reading inside all day. :)

    I can't wait for you to read The Raven Boys. I just read and reviewed it myself and (spoiler?) loved it, so I look forward to your take on it! Happy Fall!

  4. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, even though we don't get much in the way of crisp weather! And I want some of that crumble. I'm seriously wanting to read the new Lahiri...

  5. Lovely! I should try roasting my squash first before I use it for soup. Your recipe is quite similar to what I have, sort of, except I also add carrots to the mix.

    Have a lovely autumn! I wish I live in a place where there's autumn :)

  6. I do love soup but not the cooler weather. I could take warm weather all year round.

  7. Your pile is going to make Renay very happy :)

  8. Happy fall, Nymeth! and happy reading and butternutting and apple-picking. My apple tree produced an amazing amt this year, too.

  9. I am shaking my head balefully at your ability to throw things of uncertain quantities into a pot and have the resulting meal come out delicious. That has never, ever worked for me. Recipes barely work for me. If my life were a Diana Wynne Jones novel I would have a food jinx.

  10. Lots of great things! I hope you have a wonderful time this autumn. :)

  11. Love this post, Ana! Beautiful photos of everything autumnal. Plus, we got to see some of your cooking - you are far more courageous than I was long ago, it took me years to try squash and pumpkin.

    I am just about to pick up the Raven Boys too, I've been hearing a little bit about them and it sounds like a good series. Happy Sunday and happy autumn, Ana!

  12. Yum! I'm so jealous you have an apple tree in your backyard. Only crab apples will grow around here.

  13. oh squirry!
    you live in such a beautiful place, I'm so jealous of your apple tree.
    and soup looks delish, I never thought of roasting squashes for soups before, I'll have to try that.

  14. I enjoyed reading your post and looking at your wonderful photos.

  15. Ahh!!! The roasted pumpkin seeds - YES! Loved seeing your favorite things.

  16. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos and thoughts. I really need to start making homemade soup again now its getting cold, and what a good idea to roast the seeds. It all looks yum! This year has been a bumper year for fruit and nuts I saw it on Country File sadly I got absolutely no apples on my trees this year.

  17. Happy Fall - just loved this post! I only discovered smoked paprika a year or two ago.. don't know how I loved without it for so long.

  18. Wow, it looks like you're an even bigger fan of autumn than I am! That pumpkin soup sounds great :)! And the pictures are lovely. Enjoy the blanket, reading, and tea!

  19. I am not reconciled to the loss of summer. But your photos are lovely.

  20. I'd say Braeburns but yours look nicer (the colour etc) than those. My current daily lunch is the result of one of those thrown-together days.

  21. Wonderful hello to autumn post! Your soup and apple crumble look delicious! I love to have soups in the cooler weather they are just such comfort foods.

  22. Love this post! And your photos. But I love fall, even with it's promise of cold weather ahead.

  23. Somewhat late, but I had to comment: those apples look like Pink Ladies.


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