FALL HAS ARRIVED FOR QUITE SOMETIME

There is an English proverb that says, “It’s better to begin in the evening than not at all.” In my native country (Jamaica), we would say, “It never too late for a shower of rain.” How are these sayings relevant to Fall you might ask?

You see, I went on a little hiatus (sometime in March’17). Never expected to be away that long. Wanted to resume writing my blog, but, repeatedly procrastinated. Before I knew it, summer made it’s way and so did the very active work of Mother Nature.

My heart goes out to many victims of  hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Several lost their lives. The devastation from these storms destroyed and obliterated islands, towns and many structures.

People in Barbuda and other parts of the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Key West, US Virgin Islands, Houston, Tx, USA are still without electric power and other amenities. It seemed like there is no ending to the devastation within our midst.

Sonoma and Napa Valley counties in California, USA went through tremendous lost of lives and properties caused by fires. Many wineries were completely destroyed by these gigantic fires. In addition, Mexico had its structures demolished in a huge way with a massive earthquake. Several lives were perished.

When devastation and tragedies occur, one can feel rather helpless and forlorn. You try to find ways to assist one another in your own way via donations, time and otherwise. You wish you could quiet the dispirited feelings within.

Despite all this, the seasons continue to change. Mother Nature is a mixed-bag. Autumn (Fall) is here(well, since Sept 1). I must confess, it’s one of my faves. I do think it is an incredible time to return to one of my passions which is sharing my cooking.

So, as some of you are fortunate to experience the leaves transform to their amazing reds, oranges, and other hues up north, I choose to follow suit in my own way. I do so by enjoying the wholesome products of nature. The marketplaces are abuzz. I’ll purchase, prepare and cook the seasonal foods in the form of:

  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes(yam)
  • Cauliflower
  • Beetroot
  • Eggplant
  • Brussels sprout
  • Cranberries
  • Leek
  • Okra
  • Pears

and a host of other seasonal foods. I do think it’s the best way to save and simultaneously enjoy nature’s bounties. I can’t wait to transform these wholesome produces hopefully into delectable dishes. My palate is anticipating those mouth-watering dishes.

So, as the temperatures plummet to comfortable digits, I’ll fling open my windows and doors and usher in the cool goodness. Okay, I know I don’t reside in the cold region. But, I’ll allow my imagination to take over.

I’ll pretend that I’m curled up by a crackling fireplace with the glowing embers popping. That’s when I will indulge in a comforting bowl of pumpkin or squash soup. Or a finger licking dish of stew. In my head, the green leaves are changing to their breath-taking hues of reds, oranges and others.

Welcome back my family, friends, fellow bloggers, and followers. It’s nice to return. Despite life’s pitfalls, it’s also wonderful. It’s time to start making some beautiful noise with those pots, skillets and pans. Let’s start chopping!

And as per usual, I thank you for joining me at “Justmeandmypot”, where I try to keep a fine mouth-watering balance. Have an awesome Fall season.

 

 

 

 

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THE ELEGANT BOSC PEARS POACHED IN RICH MERLOT

Let your Fall pears (Bosc) stand out further by poaching them in a vibrant hue of Merlot wine. These pears are excellent for poaching because they retain their shape beautifully. With a sprinkle of cinnamon spice and a touch of honey or any sweetener, you can transform them into a great snack or dessert.

Do allow your pears to slowly simmer on low heat and catch the flavors and the bright burgundy/red color for approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Make sure to turn on all sides for even absorption. Do keep an eagle’s eye out as your merlot  bath will simmer into a sweet reduction. This reduction is excellent for a beautiful drizzle over ice cream.

Cool and then chill your merlot  poached pears and serve with/without a scoop of vanilla or any other flavor ice cream of your preference. The bold yet sweet flavors will explode in your mouth and make you feel like you’re in the picturesque hills of Tuscany overlooking the bay; or, Napa Valley with a harvest moon.

Salud my Foodies!

A NAPA-INSPIRED DISH – ORANGE/LEMON ROASTED CHICKEN WITH A PAIRING OF PINOT GRIGIO(FR. CALIFORNIA)

Yippee! Based on reports in the media from the local Vintners’ Association in California, it’s now harvest time in the Napa Valley area. And, that’s spectacular news for the area. You see, on Sunday, August 24, 2014, the wine region was rattled by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake.

Thankfully, there were no known deaths caused from this earthquake. However, dozens were injured and I certainly wish them a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, for this famous wine-producing region which yearly generates close to $1.4 billion also suffered losses. Example, Cult 24 Wine Bar lost close to $50,000 worth of bottles of wine. Moreover, some tasting rooms had to be closed temporarily to tourists.

The good news is that the area has and is already bouncing back. The vineyards and the grapes didn’t suffer great impact. I can only imagine how anxious the growers and operators have been throughout this ordeal. Being a wine lover, my heart goes out to these dedicated and passionate people. They toil for hours in the vineyards so I can visit my neighborhood store and fetch me a bottle of my favorite.  Further, the fabulous news is that the price of wine will not be increased due to this earthquake.

As a  result, I thought it was befitting that I paid homage to these beautiful folks in the Napa area. I did so with a meal that in my mind’s eye would be perfect on a menu at one of the eating establishments in the locale.

Therefore, I made an Orange/Lemon Roasted Chicken” I served the entrée with a side dish of sweet potato salad, garlic green beans and broccoli. Of course, I paired this Napa-inspired dish with an inexpensive Californian wine (Pinot Grigio) Salud! And what do you know? We finish the dish with sweet/seedless California grapes.

Ingredients for Orange/Lemon Roasted Chicken:

*Garlic (crushed)

*Chicken (legs/thighs)

*Olive oil

*Salt/cracked black pepper

*Lemon (slices)

*Orange (1 – juice)

Method

1. Chicken parts (legs/thighs) were seasoned with salt, pepper and crushed garlic. This was done a couple hours before cooking.

2. Chicken parts were drizzled with olive oil. Then, slices of lemon were placed on chicken along with extra garlic.

3. Chicken parts were then placed in heated oven and roasted at 425 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes.

For Orange/Lemon sauce:

1. The juice of orange along with half of lemon with a splash of honey were placed in small stock pot. Water was added to a teaspoon of flour and mixed and then added to ingredients  for thickening.

2. This  was simmered on low heat until it became a sauce-like consistency.

3. Approximately ten minutes into completion of roasting time of chicken, orange and lemon sauce was then brushed on chicken parts.

The dish was a hit. The savory, tart and slightly sweet combination was just what me and my loved ones’ palates needed. We were satisfied and contented as we  watched the ducks waddled their tails. We sipped on pinot grigrio and nibbled on California seedless grapes. Now, what more could any one else ask for?