Sunday, September 22, 2013

Glass Pumpkins and Autumnal Dishes



We celebrated the advent for autumn with a trip to the glass pumpkin patch at MEarth. You all know my season obsession with pumpkin, right? Well, these won't cause me to break out in hives from pumpkin overload!

We wandered the tables and picked our top three pumpkins each. Organized mostly by color, Dylan gravitated toward the table with pumpkins in every shade of blue from the palest cerulean to stormy navy. Riley liked pumpkins in the sunny shades of yellow. Jake preferred the green ones; and I loved the ones that were funky. My favorite one was a quince-hued pumpkin - you know that rosy color they take on after they are poached? - with deep cantaloupe-colored spots. Some looked downright edible; others were fanciful in their colors and textures. They were all vibrant and gorgeous. And, though it was for a really good cause, we walked out pumpkin-less. They were pricey and I don't keep anything breakable and expensive in my house. Maybe when the boys get older...


But we did leave with full bellies because Chef Brad Briske and Emanuele Bartolini of La Balena Carmel and Chef Sarah LaCasse of Earthbound Farm were there, serving up some autumn-inspired dishes.

Sarah served a quinoa salad with slices of sweet red onions and sea salt-encrusted breadsticks.

Brad manned the wood-fired oven, caramelizing slices of delicata squash and tossing them with fresh apples, housemade pancetta, crisped pieces of fresh sage, and chunks of bread. And Emanuele took goat cheese mixed with butternut squash puree and rolled them in a coating of chopped pumpkin seeds and nuts.




My boys - and I mean Dylan and Jake, not Dylan and Riley - dueled over the pieces of the housemade pancetta. I think Jake won this round!


Chef Brad can make culinary magic wherever he goes...even in a garden. He mentioned that he'll be at opening event for the Big Sur Food & Wine: Gateway to Big Sur at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands on Thursday, November 7th. Forty wineries and twenty-two chefs. Can't wait!

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