Autumn in Normandy arrived almost overnight, with one day being summer when we were chasing our 2 year old around the beach in Houlgate wearing next to nothing, and the next being a brisk sunny autumn day when we were again all three of us out for a bike ride in the woods wearing hats, winter scarves and gloves. The instant change was shocking, but welcome. Shorter days mean cozier nights cuddled up next to the fireplace, and slightly earlier dinners, as our tummies seem to tell us its time to eat once the sun goes down. “Le marché” (farmers markets) this time of year is bustling with all sorts of beautiful veggies and fruits. Indeed, I love the fall harvest season. Apples. Gourds. Raspberries. Tomatoes, Green Beans, Pumpkins… I could go on and on. There’s just something lovely about looking at nature’s vibrant colors and then deciding how to incorporate them into fresh nutritious dishes to nourish your family.
I won’t beat around the bush. I took a long break from this blog. My cooking, although undocumented, continued in full force these last couple of months as our house continued to smell of different spices and flavors on most days. We enjoyed many yummy things: banana cream pie, chocolate raspberry pie, sushi rolls with sardines, carrots and avocado, swiss chard risotto wraps, tapioca pudding with lemon zest, delicious cuts of veal, lamb, and chicken from our favorite butcher “chez Pascal” and countless other memorable dishes. A few of these made their way to my Instagram feed, @fullfatdiet.
Perhaps I needed a reason to continue, or a new inspiration, to transfer all of those wonderful smells and textures back through this clanky keyboard and on to the screen. While I haven’t put my finger on what inspiration I need exactly, for the time being I will publish a monthly seasonal recipe.
Today I whipped together a quick batch of Pumpkin Banana Apple Muffins. These are healthy muffins as they contain no butter. Home made applesauce from the apples in our garden have replaced the butter, and you’d never know it was missing. The ingredients are simple: pumpkin purée, a banana, ideally not too ripe, applesauce, whole wheat flour, pumpkin pie or “épice de pain d’épice” (what I used). It contains an extra spice or two I think, baking powder, milk, 2 eggs, and raw cane sugar. I did not measure anything when making this recipe, so my measurements are approximate “eyeballed” quantities. I have just gotten to the point where I know what muffin batter should look like, and what consistency it should be when you scoop up a scoop and let it drop off the spoon. Maybe that is arrogant and bold, but you should not be afraid of baking without a recipe. You can’t really screw things up if you use your best judgement and just keep practicing.
Now, go and enjoy these muffins; it’s all of fall in one velvety bite.
Until next month,