Spinach and little preserved lemon and herb-flavored pork meatballs in broth to warm us up after a tromp down the snow-covered towpath on Halloween? Trick or treat.

 

We are off to The Omega Institute to hear the wise words of Pema Chodron. With a snowy forecast (8 inches of the white stuff), it will be a great adventure. That’s we are hoping for. Before we leave, we are having a lunch of roasted cauliflower smothered in butter-toasted breadcrumbs with pancetta and Marsala-softened prunes—om.

 

Chickpeas with roasted tomatoes and kabocha squash, drizzled with lemon olive oil and scattered with fresh chives

 

Wild dandelion greens and orecchiette in a rich capon broth.

 

Fall vegetarian lunch plate—kabocha and speckled hound squash, the last of the summer tomatoes, newly dug yukon gold potatoes, and cippolline. Where’s the beef? Who cares.

 

Drove over to the Milk House Farm in Bucks County to meet with Brenda Slack, a 4th generation farmer. We tromped through the fields to checked out how the beans are drying—and they are, slowly. Soon Farmer Slack will have bins of dried beans with wonderful names like: yin yang, dragon tongue, pawnee shell, roma 2, California black eye, and a heap more. On the way home we stopped at the Pineville Tavern for two half-orders of cheese rav’s with marinara sauce and a little glass of Chianti. What a wonderful way to start the week.

 

Slow-cooked spice-rubbed short ribs with boiled potatoes, onions, and string beans—our kind of meat and potatoes

 

Late breakfast, early lunch: a deconstructed carbonara—sheets of fresh pasta, two poached eggs, and crisp pancetta

 

Alabama white grits with mushroom and chestnut gravy and a side of artichoke with Meyer lemon mayonnaise

 

Our fall gardens are giving us plenty these days: Chioggia beets, pencil-thin string beans, floury potatoes. The nasturiums are blooming their heads off and the chickens are still laying. We put it all together with a lemony aioli, some good olive oil, and s & p.

 

 

It’s warm and rainy—the Irish, who know about rain, would call it a “soft day”.  It feels so good to be outside. We took a long walk on the towpath instead of cooking lunch. All the trees along the canal are in full fall plumage. The sight of them will sate our appetites until dinner.

 

 

We found a beautiful late season melon, and two perfectly ripe avocados that we anointed with olive oil, a few flakes of Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Melissa’s brother, Simon, sent us Meyer lemons from Santa Barbara, so we gave everything a squeeze of their “sweet”  juice.

 

Fresh mozzarella seasoned with S & P and really good olive oil with Cerignolas and the Italian sparkler, Cuvée Bellavista Franciacorta

 

 

Eggs “poached” in a simple tomato sauce with really good extra-virgin olive oil to serve on garlic toast

 

We’re having an Italian-American lunch in honor of the holiday—a salad of radicchio and iceberg, with a sliced chicken, raisin, and caper salad dressed with an agrodolce sauce. Buon appetito!

 

We ordered in and took out. Too busy to cook, but never too busy to eat lunch.

 

We made meatballs today—pork and veal, ricotta and parmigiano, parsley and mint. We tossed a big escarole salad with an eggy vinaigrette and called it a day, what a wonderful day!

 

Cranberry bean stew with bacon, onions, and celery leaves.

 

Snowflakes reported in West Virginia. We made a big pot of split pea soup over the weekend and are warming ourselves up with it on this cold, raw early fall day.