Fall in New England leaves no shortage of weekend activities, especially when the weather is fine, and it’s a wide open Saturday. This past weekend we slept past high tide, meaning we couldn’t take the boat out for a final brunch at Liberty Wharf, as planned. But sometimes sleep is needed more than boating, and our plans quickly changed to a trip to Concord to check out the leaves and see what else we could find along the way.
First, we found tons of traffic heading to our hopeful first stop, Walden Pond. We decided to drive toward Concord center instead, and remembered that Verrill Farm was somewhere nearby. A quick GPS search and a few miles later, we were pulling up to the farm, which was having a harvest festival. The festival turned out to be for kids, so instead of going on a pony ride, we decided to put a dent in our week’s grocery shopping at the farm store.
The farm store at Verrill Farm is pretty great, featuring baked goods, prepared foods, local milk, eggs, and cheese in addition to their own homegrown produce and their free range, Concord beef. If my grocery budget was larger, I would shop exclusively at a place like this. We figured buying some locally produced food was better than nothing though, and I love how the New England terroir shines through in the food we did buy.
Since we were so close to Acton, we HAD to go to the new-ish Bueno y Sano there. The Bueno y Sano in Amherst was one of my favorite parts of college. Their tacos and hot sauce are addictive, and I could eat them every day. If I could only find the hot sauce recipe somewhere, my life would be complete.
While we had a really great day, I do have a confession to make. I’ve recently decided that I dislike fall almost as much as winter. It’s been too cold for me already, dark too early, and the dreary Sundays have meant little fall boating. The fall recipes I make tend to be delicious, but they’re ugly in photos, photos that now lack natural light because it’s dark too early! The one thing I love is fall produce, the beautiful colors and funny shapes and the plethora of uses in food and drink. Our trip to Verrill Farm helped me to shape our week’s meal plan around local produce, something that excites me probably a lot more than it should.
On the menu this week:
pulled chicken sandwiches with vegetable bbq sauce – with apples, onion, and zucchini from Verrill Farm
roasted pumpkin, kale, lentil, and goat cheese salad – with sugar pumpkin from Verrill Farm
chicken sausage skillet – with potatoes and chicken sausage from Verrill Farm
roasted turnips and a turnip gratin
apple cider cocktails – apple cider from Verrill Farm, plus whiskey and pumpkin pie spice. . . yum!
What are you cooking up this week?