I’ve been trying to be more conscious of eating locally lately. I’ve been frequenting my local, organic market more and more recently. Not only does the produce taste better but I like knowing where it comes from and supporting more small-scale producers. Even though I was always aware of the produce available (and not available) according to the different seasons, it becomes so much more obvious when the large majority of the food isn’t being imported from elsewhere. It is such a shift from summer into more truly wintery produce. Needless to say, there is a lot of squash, parsnips, and potatoes around. It always takes my brain some time to re-adjust and think about the things I normally make with these ever present winter vegetables that I largely ignore over the summer months. One of the biggest problems I have, especially with squash, is that they are so big. Just one squash is way more than we ever need for any meal and unless I want endless leftovers, I have to think of multiple dishes to make with the same ingredient. While my go-to is usually soup, a couple of weeks ago, I used some acorn squash to make a delicious quinoa salad. So, when I saw a half of a squash being sold at my local market, I wasn’t only thrilled that I wouldn’t have to eat an entire squash by myself but I also knew what I was going to do with it right away. I could picture what a beautiful side dish, or even meal, a quinoa stuffed acorn squash would make, especially at this time of year.
Last week, I was brainstorming what I could bring to a Thanksgiving potluck as dessert and my boyfriend just kept repeating “What about apple pie?”. In the end, the idea grew on me and I went straight to researching all sorts of different pies. The closest I have ever come to making a pie before was when I made a strawberry galette, last summer. After reading about countless different types of apple and other fruit pies I made a couple of key decisions. First, I wanted a simple, flaky crust but only on the bottom. I saw a bunch of pies that had a crumble topping and I thought it was genius: you get buttery pastry and a crunchy, nutty top? Definitely the best of both worlds. Also, so that I wouldn’t have to use too much sugar I decided to use both tart and sweet apples in the filling, spiced with some nutmeg and cinnamon. Lastly, because I wanted to put a little twist on things, I decided I wanted to put rosemary throughout the pie: in the crust, topping and filling. I love rosemary and apples (actually I love rosemary with fruit and in desserts, generally)! And that’s how this rosemary apple pie was born.
This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and we were invited last minute to a Thanksgiving dinner for everyone that doesn’t have family around this time of year. To be honest, I don’t have very strong memories of Thanksgiving and so I don’t have many traditions that I draw on in my mind. Of course I think of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce but those are things that I haven’t eaten for years. So, when I was thinking of things I could bring, a vegetarian stuffing and gravy came to mind right away. I have been wanting to make a vegetarian gravy for a very long time (especially to be able to use on poutine) and whenever there was stuffing that wasn’t stuffed in the bird or made with meat stock, it was always a treat.