Between an Aubergine and Asparagus Or: Requiem for Autumn

Perhaps you’ll agree that the least inspiring season is that dangling period when winter loses its magic and the only hope for spring is the occasional dripping icicle. The promise of spring brings with it the promise of leeks, spring onions, asparagus, fiddle-heads, and mushrooms. But in February, March, and even April, these delights (at least in most of Canada) seem like a distant hope. Blizzard conditions can send you indoors to cook hibernation fare one day, while a surprise spike in the mercury can leave you craving pesto, salads, and Sauvignon Blanc the next. The season is filled with unsettling indecision about what to cook.

Autumn sits on the opposite end of this dangling season. Like spring, it is filled with endless varieties of fresh culinary inspirations, and like spring, it is impossible to recreate the appetites it stirs.

Corner Brook is a delightful place to be during the Autumn season. Just as the Humber Valley ripens into a New England-like, post-card-worthy tableau…

…so too, does the West Coast Farmer’s Market ripen with delights. The market is, by most comparisons, small, but it runs until late October and every week there’s something new to love and cook.

Like fresh eggplant and the local “Jam Man’s” raspberry jam:

Large tubs of Newfoundland Wildflower Honey:

Fresh tomatoes, perfect for a light salad with a few splashes of olive oil,  balsamic vinegar and goat cheese:

Later in the season, the bounty expands:

Local apples, apple cider, and sweet, sweet pumpkins.

So, you see,  autumn one has all the resources for endless culinary magic. Like hot-toddy cider, and baked apples with cinnamon and creme fraiche:

and delicious home-made pumpkin pie:

Oh, pumpkin pie, how we miss you.

Let’s not forget, autumn in Newfoundland is famously Moose-hunting season. And although you may only find the occasional Moose burger at the Farmer’s Market, you are likely to run into someone who will be only too willing give you a chunk of their beast for a delicious home-made Moose Bourguinon (eat your heart out, Julia Child):

Alas, for now, our counters lack the fresh wonders of autumn and its local market goods, and wait impatiently for the first signs of spring and all its delightful possibilities.