It’s officially fall

The few leaves left on my cherry tree are turning colors, and the vast majority of them are now carelessly piled on the ground below. Our tomatoes have all but died and we picked our first beets last weekend. I wore socks for the first time in months (only at home) and have been wearing my new leather jacket (only in the morning). Fall is here, and with it one of my favorite times of the year, full of antiquing and savory, slow-cooked meals, beautiful reds, auburns, oranges and golds adorning the Normand trees, the end of tourist season in Paris and walking to work with the rising sun, pots of freshly made soup, heated up as needed, lazy weekends at the seaside, jackets buttoned up and scarves rippling as the coastal wind reminds me, just in case I’d forgotten, that summer is O.V.E.R.

Despite the unseasonably hot temperatures this week, I’m definitely feeling fall. After a weekend of antiquing in Giverny and Aubevoye, I’m officially ready to dive into my pre-winter menu. Last weekend at the super market we debated on whether or not to buy beef for bourgignon, and decided that it was too early. Now, it feels just right. The tenderly cooked and red-wine infused beef pairs so perfectly with the spicy flavor of cloves and garlic. I can’t wait for my first one of the season.

I’m also excited about a looming weekend on the Normandy coast. I’ve been a bit down about work lately, so getting away will be a nice change. I’m ready to smell the fresh sea air, and admire the calmness of the beach in fall. It’s only Tuesday. Is it too early to picture myself skipping rocks into the water, or to hope that it will still be warm enough so that I can dip my weary feet into the salty water? Or to imagine the delicious fish and seafood that we’ll likely eat? I think not. It’s what gets me through the week. I need things to look forward to, like an invisible motor pushing me forward, and making the everyday a little easier.

While I’m waiting, I’ve got a little recipe to share. Tonight I looked in the fridge, and as usual pulled out whatever was about to go bad: lean ground beef. It’s a protein day, so no vegetables allowed. I of course opened my epicurious app and did a search for meatballs, and decided on the general idea behind their Moroccan beef meatball tagine (without the tagine, nor the couscous). The result was a very tasty meatball, albeit dry, but it wouldn’t be if you actually followed the recipe and made the sauce that goes with it.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious
Moroccan Beef Meatballs

Ingredients:
3/4 pound ground beef
1/3 C bread crumbs (I used oat bran)
1/3 C finely grated onion
1 large egg
2 garlic cloves
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 t ginger
Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to hot! Gently mix together all the ingredients (beat the egg slightly before incorporating). Form the mixture into small, 1 inch balls and place them in an oven-safe baking dish. That’s it! Bake approximately 20 minutes, turning once. Add a little grated cheese right at the end if you’d like. Would be delicious served with a tomato sauce, or the tagine that Epicurious recommends which includes beef broth, raisins, garlic, cinnamon and tons of other yummy additions. Enjoy!

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