by Max Brantley
Maggie Smith writes (and provides photo):
While I'm a little forlorn about the waning supply of berries and tomatoes, I love the fall produce. For the next couple of months my house will be awash in sweet potatoes, apples, and winter squash thanks to the Arkansas Sustainability Network. I'm trying to come up with new ways to use all this good food so that I don't get bored. I made these chunky pancakes this morning by taking my regular pancake recipe and adding in a small, mostly smashed up baked sweet potato. I also added a little cinnamon, but I think they'd be equally good with other sweet spices like clove, nutmeg, or garam masala. I'd love to see what other readers have come up with to diversify the autumn menu.
Maggie filed an evening note, too, about some spring rolls.
I made spring rolls for dinner tonight in an effort to further the diversity of the fall bounty. It's roasted butternut squash, tempura portobello mushrooms, deep fried tofu, spinach, fresh basil, and rice noodles rolled into a rice paper wrapper. The basil, squash, and mushrooms were all locally grown. If you've never worked with rice paper wrappers before, it's a great way to make a quick dinner. You can buy a big package at Sam's Oriental for about a dollar, soak them individually in a shallow bowl of water until there are no more rough parts, let them dry until they're a little sticky, then wrap up whatever tickles your fancy. We dipped these in a sauce made from vinegar, sugar, tamari, oil, homemade peanut butter, and sriracha.