La Bonne Vie: There's no stopping autumn in Michiana

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By: Rachel Shenk

Rachel Shenk/La Bonne Vie

Autumn is here in full force. As I take my early morning dog walk, the quiet streets are filled with the almost imperceptible sound of dying leaves, coming down one by one.

Stella, the dog, turns right then turns left, ears rising and falling, as she hears the squirrels rustling through the carpet of leaves. At the park, the colours are reaching their climax. From sullen green and soft rose to brilliant red and luminous yellow, from coppery brown and rusty orange to shimmering gold and muted bronze, the trees are giving it their all. Trees that through the summer blended together now stand on their own. We have been spoiled by beautiful weather deep into October and everywhere I go, people chitchat about it, happy for this extended stay.

My busy schedule continues, but I make room every day to walk, run or stroll outside through the glory. The drama unfolds every day in autumn. It’s the way the light comes through against the changing skies. It’s hearing and then seeing the gaggles of geese flying south. It’s watching the natural landscape slowly putting itself to sleep for the coming cold.

The drama unfolds every day in autumn. 

By the time I get home these days, I don’t have much energy for cooking. I look for easy meals to make. But if one is a baker, there is always bread. And if one runs a cheese shop, there’s always cheese. And that’s what we end up having for supper: cheese and bread in various combinations.

It’s easy to throw together a vegetable soup and eating it with French bread and Swiss cheese only makes it better. Or we make a salad with late fall vegetables like carrots, turnips, cabbage and broccoli and then put together grilled cheese sandwiches with some good sourdough and cheddar. Or even just plain bread and cheese with a side of fresh apple.

One of the salads we have been making a lot these days is an apple, pear and Brie salad. It’s easy to put together and very tasty. And it brings out the fall flavours that we are now craving!

Fall fruit and warm Brie salad

Mixed green salad serves four. 

Ingredients

  • 1 McIntosh apples, washed and sliced
  • 1 Bartlett pear, washed and sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, cut and seeded
  • ½ cup caramelized slivered almonds
  • 8 nice slices of Brie
  • Butter
  • Sugar

Directions

  1. First, caramelize the almonds. In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add almonds and stir until they are just starting to turn golden. Add 1 ½ tbsp. sugar and stir just until melted. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put slices of Brie on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Put in the oven for five minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, divide the greens onto four plates. Lay apple and pear slices on top. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and caramelized almonds. Lay the Brie slices on top. Drizzle with a sweet and sour dressing or a balsamic dressing. Serve immediately.
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