Welcome to fall in New Hampshire!
We were a bit worried with the extremely hot and dry summer we had that the foliage might be less than, but it has turned out to be a spectacular fall- the colors do not disappoint. I took these photos for you a couple of days ago late afternoon, so you will see the light changing throughout the photos.
You can see we still have some green on the sugar maples that line the gravel drive. Our neighbors sugar maples always turn several weeks before ours and it is a magnificent show from our front porch. The girls were helping me take photos, so you will see a lot of them playing! This is 12-year-old Ella playing "get your gizzard" with 2-year-old Magnolia, and Ella can catch her!
The drive from the house down to the road.
The freshly painted house, sans shutters, with windows open! The perfect fall day.
The cushions on the front porch are feather/down filled and I change out the covers several times throughout the year. Because the porch is covered and we do not suffer from extreme humidity on a regular basis they do great on the porch.
I see two tails photo-bombed this pic!
The front meadow.
We, along with an arborist, trimmed up all the sugar maples, that line the drive, this summer and we are loving the higher canopy over the drive. We absolutely adore these trees and they are a very important component to our property, so not a single limb was cut without
our my approval! It's all about the health of the tree, of course, but also the aesthetic on what the view is looking out/looking in towards the house and the light/exposure that a cut will make. I look at every single cut (and there were hundreds:) from many different angles and then will then go back to the front porch, since we sit there so often, to make sure the cut works from that important angle. The perfect tree cutting job and the goal is always to say "What did we cut??" at the end since it still looks so natural and like nothing at all was really done!
Love Ella chasing Magnolia in the background of this pic!
Louise is standing in front of the stairs off the back porch that we added this summer.
We love the new stairs- they just feel so right for the scale of the house and porch, and they are SO user friendly! The dry-stacked stones still need to be worked and finished, but just so happy to have the stairs (they were my birthday present this year!!)
The sun starting to fade in the west.
The house as the sun was setting.
So happy and grateful to live here and call this farmhouse home. The house lights are on, the candles in the front garden are lit, now let me get you a cocktail and we'll do our evening "walk about" around the property; the girls, of course, will accompany and entertain us!
I love getting back in the kitchen with the arrival of fall, so I'll be sharing lots of my go-to recipes with you (I had a lot of requests to show you what was in my "go-to's" folder that you saw in my cooking file drawer from this post on my kitchen drawers HERE.) I have been making this roasted butternut squash soup for a good twelve years or so. I combined several recipes to make up this one and it is a fall/winter favorite. Here I served the soup with an open face sandwich made of multi-grain ciabatta bread, which I grilled with swiss cheese and sun dried tomatoes and topped with a spring mix of lettuces. I've made this soup for many a fall lunches with guests, and it is always a hit! The recipe is below.
Also, if you missed my Italian Sausage Soup recipe you MUST try it HERE. It is so good and so simple and perfect for fall.
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
1 medium butternut squash
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. freshly grated ginger (I use a microplane) (or 1 t. dried, but fresh is preferred)
1 carton (4 cups) organic chicken broth
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1 T. kosher salt (my favorite is Diamond Krystal)
2 t. curry powder
pepper to taste
1- 3 T. honey (depending on the natural sweetness of the squash)
1 cup half and half
Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds ( I use a small ice cream scoop, but a large spoon with also work.) Rub cut side, not the skin, lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (fyi- these ingredients are in addition to those listed in the above recipe.) Roast squash cut side down on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 50- 60 minutes or longer, depending on the size of your individual squash. You want the skin to be very brown and dimpled. Set aside and cool. When completely cool, scoop the pulp out of the skin.
Cook the onion with the 2 T. of olive oil over medium-low heat until softened. I make this in my LeCreuset dutch oven. (I have several LeCreuset pieces so I always note which piece I use, black or green meaning large/smaller, on a given recipe- makes life easier when you go to make a recipe you might not have made in months!)
Add 1 T. salt, pepper , ginger, nutmeg and curry powder and cook an additional minute.
Add chicken broth and squash pulp. Cook over medium heat until hot (do not boil.)
Using a stick blender to puree. If you don't have a stick blender you NEED one in your life!!! HERE
Add one tablespoon of honey. Taste for sweetness and add 1-2 T. more.
Add half and half and puree again.
A photo from several years ago where I served this soup for lunch with good friends.
Rest in peace sweet Marcie...