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Fall Is Here...Let The Cooking Begin!

Cooking Fall JG Rural Living Pacific Northwest The Crimson Spoon Washington State University

I love the Fall for many reasons. My favorite words come to mind when I think of Fall for instance; warm, cozy, plaid, fireplaces, cooking comfort dishes, slippers, cool nights and the best Fall colors outside. The Pacific Northwest landscape sure gives a show during the Fall in preparation for Winter.

Living in Eastern Washington, we get to experience four mild seasons. The perfect versions of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter one could ask for. Spring offers warmer days, beautiful flowers and anticipation for the dry summer soon to come.  Summers can reach well over 100 degrees! The long summer days are filled with water sports on the Columbia River, day trips to the mountains or campfires after barbecuing with friends or family. Summer nights here have the best sunsets and starry nights too!

Harvest for our family is in full effect during the Fall. Long days and nights harvesting vineyards and orchards have been a part of my seasonal traditions for 35+ years.  With that comes trying new hearty recipes that are easy to make and prepare enough for a few meals to eat during the week while you work.

I was asked to speak at a Wines-By-Cougars winemaker's dinner a month ago at Washington State University.  A four course meal prepared by the University's executive chef and his students. Wonderful food pairings with our family wines! Was blown away by the students! Chef Jamie gave The Crimson Spoon cookbook as a gift for coming featuring his recipes. I couldn't wait to get home and start cooking!

So here is a sample recipe from the book I tried last week that is easy to prepare, flavorful and will be made again...again...and again at my house! 


1 cup dried Great Northern beans

2 slices bacon, chopped

1/2 cup small diced onion

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

3 1/2 cups unsalted or low-sodium chicken stock or broth

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Cover beans with 2 cups of water; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Cook bacon in a medium stockpot until halfway done; add onions and cook until translucent and bacon is crisp. Adjust heat to low cook until garlic is translucent, about 2 minutes.

Drain beans, add to onions with chicken stock, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook just until beans are tender, about 1 hour. The liquid will not be completely absorbed.

Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings


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