How To Stock Your Fall Pantry

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Fall is an exciting time of year for cooking and eating. The temperatures get a little cooler, the days become a little shorter, and the meals get a little more robust. Stews, soups and braises are regulars at the dinner table. Baking, roasting, grilling and raw ingredients come together nicely. Like dressing for cooler weather, we change our dietary habits in the fall as well. Just as fabrics and colors get a little richer when the seasons change, so do flavors and textures. And the results are memorable. The smell of a good fall meal cooking in a warm kitchen is hard to beat.

When stocking up for fall, it’s good to have a line on a great grocer. We happen to know one, so we made a quick to visit our friend Hunter Hopcroft at Harvest Grocery & Supply. Since Hunter opened Harvest nearly a year ago, it has been one of our favorite spots for picking up supplies. Featuring locally sourced produce that rotates seasonally, Harvest is a throwback to the neighborhood market and general stores.

As always, it was great catching up with Hunter. Here are a few of his recommendations for keeping a well-stocked pantry during the season:

Squash

“Delicata squash is similar to spaghetti squash but you don’t have to peel them. The skin is edible and tasty. We recommend to cut them in half, throw away the seeds, and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until tender. Butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and acorn squash are all seasonal squashes to keep stocked during the season.”

Stocks

“If you don’t have time to make your own, buy beef or chicken stock. These are versatile and will work with many recipes. Many of the foods that we eat during the fall require us to add moisture into the cooking process. Stocks are a good way to do so.”

Fresh spices

“For some reason, we crave slightly exotic spices during the fall and winter. Make sure to keep cumin, coriander and turmeric handy.”

Wine

“I believe wine is a grocery and not a luxury. A heavy bodied red wine is definitely a necessity.”

Additional items

“Fresh pumpkin, sweet potatoes, almonds, fennel, apples, spaghetti squash, apple butter, walnuts, organic canned pumpkin, sage, green beans, garlic, and apple cider.”

Now that you have the ingredients, the final step is to have a good cookbook on hand. Hunter picked up
A Well-Seasoned Appetite, by New York Times food writer Molly O’Neill, a few years ago and swears by it. A few of his favorite recipes found in the cookbook are:

Braised Fennel With Parmesan

Pasta With Butternut Squash and Sage

Pan Seared Duck Breast With Pumpkin Polenta

Saffron Rice With Mussels, Chorizo, and Sweet Potatoes


Harvest Grocery & Supply is located at 1531 West Main Street. Visit their website for more information.

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