It’s my favorite time of year: Fall! And though I can’t exactly take my family out for hikes on leaf-strewn trails or go out apple-picking right now, I can still appreciate the beautiful bright colors in the trees and on the ground, and I look forward to cooking all the wonderful farm yields of the season once I’m fully back to cooking. I look forward to stocking up on pumpkins, squash, leeks, parsnips, celeriac, and potatoes.
I recently got to meet another huge fan of local, seasonal produce: Chef Peter Davis of Henrietta’s Kitchen, an outstanding local restaurant that supports local farms and really believes in good, local food. Braun Thermometers was in town for their mobile tour (more on that; read on) and had brought us all to the restaurant for their presentation.
The group of us got to go into the restaurant kitchen, where Chef Davis had tables laid out with fall vegetables: squash, leeks, roots, dark leafy greens. He selected a winter squash. Davis spoke of the importance of knowing where your food comes from (and say no to GMO!! <—he was emphatic about this). He has several local farms supply his restaurant.
While he spoke, he deftly split the squash in half, cleaned out the seeds, and put the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and into the oven. Then he pulled out an already-baked squash, peeled it, and chopped it roughly. He put the chunks into a pot, where some diced onions where already translucent in butter.
Another Davis imperative: Stock up now on fall vegetables such as squash, bake it, chop it, and freeze it for the coming winter.
Some stock, salt and pepper, and a little cream went into the pot, too, followed by an immersion blender. Quick and easy winter squash soup!
And then we were lead back out of the kitchen to the dining room, where we learned about the newest Braun thermometer: the No Touch Thermometer. That’s right, no more multiple swipes of the forehead, or trying to get the ear thermometer positioned just right, or even using the super-easy Behind Ear Thermometer (also made by Braun). No, now all you have to do is point the light beam at your child’s forehead and press the button and you get a reading—-which, conveniently, causes the screen to light up in green, yellow, or red, depending on temperature.
Braun is doing a mobile tour so you can try their new thermometers. “For every temperature taken with the new Braun No touch + forehead thermometer OR the Braun ThermoScan ear thermometer, Braun will donate the dollar equivalent to the local Children’s Hospital (so if your temp is a normal 98.6 degrees F, that’ll be rounded up to $1).” The Braun mobile tour is no longer in the Boston area; it looks like they are currently out in California. To find out when their tour will be near you, follow Braun on Twitter.
Back to the thermometer, though. Think about this: You don’t have to wake up your sick child to use it. You don’t even have to touch your child’s head (except to sweep hair away from the center of the forehead).
So you’re wondering the connection between squash soup and Braun? Winter is coming. It’s practically here. Winter is cold and flu season. Soup helps you feel better, and thermometers help take your temperature.
Naturally, we all tried these on ourselves and each other before enjoying the most excellent lunch of (you guessed it!) winter squash soup, roasted salmon with an apple vinegar reduction, little greens, and roasted pears with pumpkin ice cream. Wow.I wasn’t going to do this, but I have to, because lunch was so good:
Oh, and in the spirit of Peter Davis, yesterday for lunch I made soup with escarole from a nearby farm, a leek from our final CSA pickup, chicken stock, carrots (also from our CSA), and white beans I’d cooked last month and put in the freezer for future use. Excellent stuff, in all.
[Disclosure: I was hosted by Braun and Henrietta’s Table for lunch and a cooking demonstration and received a gift bag, including a thermometer. All opinions are my own.]