Updated 2009-09-29 19:46:04 ID=512:0

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

Fall's Fun Weather

Finally Fall's cooler temperature has finally arrived and it's getting me excited about cooking again!

After several weeks of high temperatures, cooler Fall weather has finally arrived and it has me all fired-up about cooking again! Let's face it! Even for us cooks that enjoy being at the stove, after weeks of high temperatures and brain-storming up "no-heat" recipes, even the most determined of us get worn down by the routine. And I must admit, I WAS starting to get stumped on thinking up new options to beat the heat. But just a few hours of cooler weather can change all that!

My "recuperation" began at last Saturday's Templeton Farmers Market where I saw what had to be one of the most perfect orange spaghetti squashes. With my eyes tempted by it's beauty and potential cooking merits, I purchased it and started to conjure up Fall recipes to make the most of it.

On the way home I told my husband, I'll simply make a duck ragu and have the spaghetti squash for its base. "Do you really want to go to that trouble?" he asked. Sure I said "it's supposed to be cooler on Monday, we've got a couple of ducks in the freezer and I'll make it then and make enough ragu for a couple times!" My husband seemed a bit amazed at me considering on Saturday we were approaching 107 degrees-a new record for the day and thought I was a bit too trusting of the weatherman. No-no! I was adamant about this!

©2008 The Romantic Table, Spaghetti Squash and Hunter Style Duck Ragu. 2008-11-04 16:43:18:71
©2008 The Romantic Table

Spaghetti Squash and Hunter Style Duck Ragu.
Well, Monday the cooler weather DID arrive-though not quite as much as I had hoped. But I DID make the Duck Ragu, one of my more involved recipes. It took me a good hour and a half to prep it and make it-and clean up the kitchen and it still had to simmer a couple hours more. But BOY! Was it worth the effort! And the Spaghetti Squash was the best we had ever tasted! It was so good, we're conniving to find another squash at the next Farmers Market so we can have it again the same way.

Now today, the day after the "duck ragu escapade" the weather really IS much more Fall-like and cool. The success of yesterday's first Fall meal combined with perfect-cooking weather temperatures has really gotten me revved-up about all the fun things I can do now comfortably in the kitchen without having to "fight the thermometer!"

This weather brings to mind Central Coast Recipes like slow-cooked sauces and ragus that definitely satisfy the tummy in a way no light summer meal can. It also brings to mind all the wonderful squash-based pastas, homemade pizzas and stuffed peppers, apple crisps, baked apple and pumpkin pies just waiting to be made now that it's REALLY cooking weather! It also brings thoughts of more enjoyable exercise routines with a little less sweat now that the cooler breezes blow. This is truly my type of weather and the lifestyle I can enjoy every day!

I am so grateful to live here on the California Central Coast-especially now that the Fall weather has returned! I can't wait to roll-up my sleeves and get back into real mellow cooking and enjoy the bounty of the Central Coast!

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A tip from Sue!

Sauteing whole garlic

If your recipe calls for whole garlic, it doesn't burn as easily when in larger pieces. But you do need to score your garlic cloves all over in order to release the garlic juices and fragrance .Always be careful to avoid burning the cloves. It'll make the garlic cloves bitter and ruin what you're cooking.