At a dinner party Friday night my friend bemoaned the changing weather. He expressed sadness for the loss of warm weather and trepidation toward the coming cold. I tried to nod sympathetically, adding that we needed to pull our container gardens inside so I can freeze some pesto before the frost kills our basil. But mostly I was trying not to giggle with glee. “AUTUMN IS HERE! WINTER IS COMING! “
People who love food generally love the seasons. Each season brings something fleeting and wonderful. Right at this moment I am in full Candy Corn mode. The kitchen is spilling over with summer’s last gift of tomatoes and peppers, and shiny new quantities of squash, pumpkin, and cranberries line the counter.
The only thing that would make me happier is a date with my favorite Bachelor Farmer boyfriend. These days we don’t get to see each other as often as I’d like. I scope out their Sunday night menu for inspiration, attempting to mimic the family style specials: Braised pork kalops, cornmeal porridge, walnuts, horseradish.
Kalops! I read the word and already I can smell savory meat flavored with allspice. The traditional Swedish stew is best on a cold day when light salads sound ridiculous and Midwestern appetites long for root vegetables and a strong gravy.
I pretend I am about to enjoy a leisurely meal with a glass of wine from Bachelor Farmer’s opened bottle chalkboard. Bison for the kalops is slow cooking and a wisp of memory reminds me of the famous Dayton’s a.k.a. Oak Grill a.k.a. River Room popovers, served at TBF and devoured by we legions of fans. I am motivated to add pumpkin to the recipe and serve them with the stew. Everything smells delicious, and it is.
But I am not foolish enough to believe anything that comes out of my kitchen is even close to TBF’s repast. Our typical Sunday night fare is served on lap-balanced plates while watching football. We sit up from our couch-prostration only long enough to grunt appreciation of this tasty morsel or that hunk of meat.
I will save my pennies and spend them on my favorite Bachelor Farmer Boyfriend very soon. Until then I’ll happily hang out with an imaginary version.