RecipeStream of Consciousness

Fall is the Best Season of Them All

apples in fall

Fall might be here finally. A “cold snap” has arrived. Autumn is my favorite season. The changing leaves, the brisk wind, and the pale cerulean skies make me happy. It is time for me to start using the oven and slow cooker more. Squashes and root veggies are in season. When it’s chilly like this, I want warm food to eat while I watch my Badgers and Cheese-heads do battle on the green fields of glory.

Every fall I head west towards the Shenandoah to the apple orchard and pumpkin fields. The smell of fermenting apples on the ground makes me want a nice hot cider spiked with some Jameson, and garnished with apple pie spice. It’s not the cinnamon that does it for me but the nutmeg and mace. It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. While enjoying nature (which I normally avoid) I try to have something in the slow cooker to fill my belly after a long day of apple picking and chucking. Apple chucking is a forgotten sport. The soft decaying apples on the earth make perfect projectiles to throw at friends. Be warned though, they may retaliate. Just think of this as a prelude to, and practice for, snowball fights!

Go out and enjoy the Fall, and while you’re at it make a stew or bake a pie!

Braised Beef Chuck and Fall Veggies


2 lbs. beef chuck

1 lb. butternut squash – cubed 

1 lb. pumpkin – cubed

1 lb. carrots or parsnips – cubed

1 large Vidalia onion

3 tbsps. of black bean garlic sauce (easily found in the international food aisle)

1/2 package of Jovian Pantry® V Spice Seasoning.

4 tbsps. of garlic powder or 4 large cloves chopped.

1 cup of water or good beef broth.

  1. Rinse the beef chuck in cold water, trim off excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces. Rub with the V Spice Seasoning, garlic, and black bean garlic sauce.
  2. Chop the onion and mix in with the beef. You can do this the night before and let it marinate for a deeper flavor.
  3. Put the ingredients in a slow cooker, ensuring to mix them together well. Pour liquid over everything and set the slow cooker to low. Cook for 4 or more hours.

Enjoy this with rice or a good crusty bread.

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