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Autumn Days and Roasting Vegetables Over A Campfire

I’ve been loving these exquisitely beautiful Autumn days. Chilly and shimmering in the early mornings

…luxuriously warm and golden during the day.

I’ve spent as much time outside as possible, turning old animal pens into new garden plots by digging out huge rocks and weeds clinging for dear life to the sun-baked soil. It is hard but satisfying work, and I love seeing the dream projects in my head come to fruition inch by back-breaking inch.

At the moment the pens are mere blank swathes of earth with skeletal borders made from the rocks I’ve dug out. But in my minds eye I see those bordered gardens filled with fragrant spearmint, pineapple sage, rosellas, chamomile, echinacea, and innumerable other herbs, criss-crossed with pathways piled deep with sunny yellow straw to keep the weeds down and the mud off my boots.

When I take breaks from digging, I harvest, and figure out ways to use the abundance of eggplants and chilies that seem to multiply every day. This week I spent a gorgeous morning by the fire roasting eggplants and poblano chilies, and smoking speck, aged cheddar, and chipotle chilies.

I love it out there, deliciously warm sunshine, cool breezes, smoke billowing up all around me.

I always feel peaceful next to a campfire. My thoughts slow down and the hazy parts of life become clear.

I like watching the vegetables change color as the flames do their work, making Plain Jane vegetables utterly delicious.

I sat out there for a long time, continuously adding damp wood chips to the hot coals to create more smoke, watching the speck become burnished, the cheese a glossy amber.

When the speck was ready I cut off slices and toasted them over the remains of the fire until they were beautifully crispy, and Bear and I ate them for lunch.

I added the poblanos to a ham and cheese quiche for a smoky, spicy kick, and used the smoked, aged cheddar in savory crepes with ham.

I never cease to be amazed at how delectably transforming a bit of smoke is.

In a kitchen awash with Autumn sunshine, I peeled all the blackened eggplants, then mashed them with garlic, lemon, fresh mind and parsley from my garden, and a good drizzle of Caramelized Garlic Balsamic Vinegar. We had some that way, then Bear, a huge fan of curry, suggested adding curry powder to give it a bit more depth. It is delicious too. Just the thing for dipping with crackers and veggies, or spooned on cold roasted meats.

Today I took time off, and Bear and I spent a lovely day visiting with dear friends, talking for hours over a table laden with scrumptious dips and veggies, sausage rolls, curried egg sandwiches, and the most stunning Black Forest Cake piled high with cream, custard, and cherries. It did us both much good, and we returned home in that lovely glow that always accompanies time spent with great people.

Tomorrow I’ll get back to my gardens, but tonight it’s time to relax. xo




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Tandy | Lavender and Lime - Wow, those veggies look amazing! Made me feel quite hungry 🙂

Valerie Harrison (bellini) - I envy your outdoor cooking and smoking lovely fresh fall vegetables from your gardens. We are plucking tiny lettuce so far this Spring but can’t wait.

LindyLou Mac - Just had a lovely time catching up on all your recent posts, sorry I do not get to visit very often these days. Thanks also for your recent visit and comment on Travel Tales.

budget jan - Hi Krista, Your lead photo of the farm is so idyllic. It makes me want to leave the ocean and head west – immediately. I’m considering the thought of curry powder in the eggplant dip. I love curries too.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef - Your roasted eggplant looks so inviting and your farm is beautiful. I know it’s hard but satisfying work.

Anna @ shenANNAgans - With everything that has been happening in my world of late, I have had a good amount of time to stop and reflect. The cooler evenings and sunshiny warm days really are some of the most magical I have ever experienced. We lost all our gardens in the cyclone, but figuring out how to rebuild so we can again enjoy delicious yumminess like this is comforting. As are the images of your gorgeous farm. The cover photo is like a warm hug. 🙂

Tania| My kitchen Stories - Sounds wonderful Krista. I agree that smoke really does make things taste amazing. Just reading this makes me feel relaxed have a lovely Easter x

Rambling Tart - I can’t get over how beautiful simple veggies can be, Tandy. 🙂

Rambling Tart - And I don’t have a single leaf of lettuce left, Valerie! I must plant some again soon. 🙂

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