Fall is fast upon us in New England with its cool and crisp air, leaves starting to show their new tawny hues, shorter days and chilly nights, farm stands packed with pumpkins and apples, warm sweaters, wool blankets and cozy fireside chats. During this transition from summer to fall my thoughts always turn to pots of soup bubbling on the stovetop. Soups are nurturing to the soul, warm you up on a cold day, and are packed with goodness.
I like to experiment with different flavors and textures in my soups and if you make a big pot of soup it can feed the family for days. I love all kinds – big pots of chili, winter squash soups, beans and rice infused soups, asian inspired soups, and especially good old fashioned tomato soup with a grilled cheese on the side. I’ve shared some of my favorites here with links to recipes and the makers. Enjoy!
Summertime for me means warm, sunny days, flip flops, digging bare feet into the sand or walking across the freshly mowed lawn, picnics, ice cream and of course an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies. One of my favorite summer fruits is fresh cantaloupe, but you need to know what to look for for ripeness or you’ll be disappointed as they do not ripen further once off the vine.
I have distinct memories growing up of time spent every summer with my grandparents at their place on the Chesapeake Bay. They had a huge vegetable garden and always grew cantaloupes. Many mornings when we were called to the breakfast table there would be cold slices of sweet cantaloupe sprinkled with salt waiting for us.
Last week when I was at the market I was holding a cantaloupe and smelling it, trying to pick the perfect one. A woman approached me and asked how do you know which one will be good? I figure perhaps there are others of you who also could use a few tips.
The best way to pick a cantaloupe is by smell. The fruit should have a sweet, slightly musky scent. If the smell is too strong, it will be be overripe. A good cantaloupe feels heavy for its size, should feel firm but not hard, and should never feel mushy. Next look at the color. Cantaloupes have a rind that resemble raised netting and the ripe ones have a golden hue. Finally the stem end should yield slightly when pressed with your thumb.
You can eat cantaloupe on it’s own or sprinkled with salt, put it in smoothies, salads and even grill it. Here are a few ideas…
Carrie Allen created this site as a way for people to share stories about things they love. She loves chasing quiet, authentic moments and sharing them with her family and friends. Read more about her inspiration here.