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Old 10-11-2007, 04:04 PM   #1
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Seasonal Cooking?

Now that the weather is turning cooler, I see lots of people talk about soups and stews as the temperature drops. Then next year, when it warms up, there will be talk of breaking out the grills.

In the olden days, when our forefathers lived off the land, meat (wild game) would become harder to come by in the winter months, so they relied on their stores, and often cooked soups and strews as that would make any meat they had last longer, but even a meatless soup or stew was filling. But in today’s times, that’s no longer the case?

What’s the general consensus on “seasonal” food? Do you adhere to the soups and stews only in the fall & winter, grill in the spring & summer? If so, do you think it is that way because it has always been that way in your family, or could there be something deeper, even genetically encoded at work here?

Personally, I cook soups and stews year round, but I’ll have to admit, I cook them slightly more in the cooler months.

I also grill and smoke year round. I’ve grilled in ankle deep snow, and my grills never get put away. I may grill a little less if it’s a harsh winter (definitely smoke a LOT less as it is to hard to maintain the cooker’s temp), but I still grill a lot in the winter, so I can’t call grilling seasonal.

What about you?

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Old 10-11-2007, 04:19 PM   #2
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I've thought about this very thing before too, Keltin. I definitely cook more foods that require long, slow cooking in the winter months. That's because I don't have heat or A/C in my kitchen. So I kinda like spending a few hours in a warm kitchen cooking and baking in the winter. And when summer months roll around, the idea of cooking/grilling outdoors is very appealing because it doesn't heat up the house. Perhaps that like is much blurrier for the lucky folks that have climate control in the entire house.

But too, I think when it's cold, we physically crave more substantial foods that take longer to digest and thus keep us warmer. Likewise, lighter foods that are more easily digested are more appealing in the summer.

But, that said, I'd stand in snow or rain or blazing heat for some grilled ribs or steaks or even veggies!!!
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:23 PM   #3
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Are you really "down south in Alabama"? If so, you don't know what real winter is!

We sometimes grill during the winter, but I don't want to eat heavier food like most soups and practically all stews in the summer; I mostly have grilled or sauteed meats and lots of salads and sandwiches. I also try not to turn on the oven between Memorial Day and Labor Day - something I heard once and like the sound of (it's hot and humid enough in the summer here). I just use the grill, stovetop, microwave and toaster oven. So by the time fall rolls around, I'm hungry for meatloaf, lasagna, casseroles, etc.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Are you really "down south in Alabama"? If so, you don't know what real winter is!

We sometimes grill during the winter, but I don't want to eat heavier food like most soups and practically all stews in the summer; I mostly have grilled or sauteed meats and lots of salads and sandwiches. I also try not to turn on the oven between Memorial Day and Labor Day - something I heard once and like the sound of (it's hot and humid enough in the summer here). I just use the grill, stovetop, microwave and toaster oven. So by the time fall rolls around, I'm hungry for meatloaf, lasagna, casseroles, etc.
Amen to that!

Very true! Down here, if we get a dusting of 1/4” of the white stuff, the whole town shuts down. People down here can’t drive in the rain, so snow and ice is nothing but chaos!

We’ve had only three or four real build ups of snow in the last 10 or so years, the worst of that was only 5” in spots (several years ago). Snow accumulation is rather rare here.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:58 PM   #5
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Most of the great chefs cook according to the season to take advantage of of the foods that are at their peak of freshness I think fall is a good one as alot of stuff is perfect having just been harvested like squash and so forth.They go very much by what is in season at the farmers market the fish market etc.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:01 PM   #6
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Very true! Down here, if we get a dusting of 1/4” of the white stuff, the whole town shuts down.
No ice trucks. You forgot to mention how everyone panics and runs to the grocery for milk and bread.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:08 PM   #7
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No ice trucks. You forgot to mention how everyone panics and runs to the grocery for milk and bread.
Oh yeah, the magical talisman of milk and bread! It seems everyone down here thinks having milk and bread is akin to have a certified emergency field tech in the house!

Storm coming????? Better get some milk and bread!
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:11 PM   #8
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I'm a "planner" person, so I have my menus planned most of the time at least two months in advance. When I do my planning, I pay close attention to the seasons. However, a large factor in my planning is that I have to consider the fact that our house isn't air-conditioned. As a result, hot weather cooking for us usually consists of lighter fare and/or stovetop meals, outdoor grilling, etc.

Having said that, I still plan meals in the wintertime that require the use of our outdoor grill. Just because the seasons change, I still crave a delicious broiled steak or beer butt chicken.

About this time of the year, I'm ready to prepare dishes that are a bit heartier and more filling and I don't mind heating my kitchen up a bit. My menus now include soups, stews and more roasted dishes.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:14 PM   #9
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No ice trucks. You forgot to mention how everyone panics and runs to the grocery for milk and bread.
Hey, no fair. Everybody knows you can't weather a storm without milk and bread!
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Fisher's Mom View Post
Hey, no fair. Everybody knows you can't weather a storm without milk and bread!
Yeah, but does the milk and bread talisman work up north????
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