Picture of stew

As summer draws to a close, many are unsure about what step is next on their culinary journey.  This summer was full of bright pasta dishes, incredible grilled greens, and delicious fresh fruit; how do you follow that up?

Instead of switching instantly to a Thanksgiving menu, consider making this transition more gradual.  Each of these following flavor shifts can allow for your food to slowly change to something more hearty to prepare you for the coming autumn!

Mix Savory and Sweet

Although many summer dishes focus solely on savory or sweet flavors on their own: fall has a little bit of luxury in it.  Since this season is famous for indulging in foods, a great way to welcome it is through mixing savory and sweet together.  This could mean cranberry pepper jelly, candied bacon, lemon and basil chicken, or dozens of other combinations that make sweet and savory mix perfectly.

Allow for Soup and Stew To Take Over

Soup and stew are the official foods of fall and winter.  They warm you from the inside out and are capable of being left to cook all day to ensure the flavors mingle, and your home stays warm.  As summer closes, embrace stews!  You can start with something heartier like chili and work yourself into broths and delicious soups that would be too warm to enjoy in the summer.  The more robust the stew, the better of a welcoming it is to fall.

Embrace Gourds In All Forms

Gourds are made for that strange middle ground between summer and fall.  From getting to roast butternut squash savory or sweet, depending on your tastes: to carving pumpkins once fall has fully sunk in, gourds give you the opportunity to enjoy the deeper flavor with more substance. In addition, you can use squash and other gourds as fillers to thicken soups, roasted sides next to great meat dishes, or even as a thickener for puddings or desserts!

Use Warmer Spices

As the weather cools down, your spices should heat up.  The use of more herbs in the fall can be seen in everything from pumpkin spice drinks to hearty and warm apple cider.  Spices heat us from our stomachs and make every dish and drink taste more welcoming.  As your dishes move from summer into fall, don’t be afraid to lean into flavors like smoked paprika, soups with deeper broth, and more flavors that bring out the savory sweetness of the season.  Summer is made for fresh and clean flavors, allowing for autumn to season things.

Don’t Fear A Good Dessert.

Baked desserts from pies to sweet rolls seem to make a huge splash in autumn.  These dishes have a more complex flavor and are inviting to those who get to eat them, and when homemade, they can taste like the lovely that went into making them.  Although baked fruit is often the most well-known autumn dessert, as you’re transferring into the season, consider making desserts like fritters, crumbles, and streusel cakes to inspire the flavors of fall without calling back to a Thanksgiving spread.


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