By Kendra Murray.
Life seems to slow down in the fall. Well, it doesn’t, really; it just seems that way. I’m not sure if it has to do with the weather or the length of the days, or maybe the fact that now I can neglect yard work for a few months, but it certainly feels as though I have more time on my hands. In response, I transition my cooking style pretty significantly. Gone are summer’s cold salads, grilled meats, and raw veggies. It’s time to turn the oven back on, bake, and simmer soups and stews for hours.
Fall is also a deliciously abundant season for local foods in Southeastern Massachusetts. The harvest is upon us! Backyard gardens and farm stands are overflowing with fall greens, root veggies, and squash. My fall CSA share from Flying Carrot Farm (previously known as Apponagansett Farm) keeps my cupboard stocked with goodies. Fresh carrots, beets, potatoes, and pumpkins are welcome after months of tomatoes and corn. Although I’m mourning the 80 degree days, I’m certainly celebrating fall’s local bounty.
Belonging to a CSA really connects me with the season. I love how the foods that are fresh in the fall are precisely what I find myself craving—and when I say fresh, I mean fresh! Picking up sweet potatoes with a layer of dirt still clinging to them reminds me that this stuff came right from the fields, not your pristine and perfectly sculpted grocery store produce. Even though I’ve been doing a fall CSA for a few years, I still keep finding new items in my share, forcing me to learn some new recipes and try new things. Of course, I also have recipes that I go back to every season, and the following is one of my favorites.
This beef pot pie is just the thing to warm your bones as the days start becoming crisp and cool. I do really enjoy chicken and veggie pot pies, but a beef pot pie is just a little different, for a nice change of pace. I vary the veggies based on what is in my CSA share, so feel free to substitute whatever you might have on hand. Fall root veggies are very versatile, so experiment. Carrots and potatoes are staples when it comes to pot pie, but why not throw in some beets and squash? I like to use Macomber turnips instead of potatoes, but they’re a pretty local item, and it can sometimes be difficult to find them if Westport and Dartmouth aren’t in your backyard. In that case, potatoes are fine, but you could also use sweet potatoes, for a totally different experience. Embrace fall’s local flavors!