Your palate will never be ready for these fall-inspired masterpieces
By Caroline Ho, Web Editor
The leaves are turning red, the windshields are icing up in the morning, the Christmas displays are making their embarrassingly premature appearance, you know what that means—autumn is definitely here!
Of course, along with all of the delights of fall and the impending holiday season, autumn also heralds the impending winter. This means you need to start bulking up in preparation for the cold and, like a hibernating grizzly bear, storing energy for those two months where you don’t leave your house except to fight fellow holiday shoppers in poorly designed parking lots. To this end, the Other Press has assembled several classic recipes to both get you in the autumnal mood and start pre-stretching your stomach and waistline for those upcoming holiday feasts.
What are you waiting for? Why are you still reading this preamble? Come on, you’re wasting precious calories here!
Pumpkin spice white rice
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 cup uncooked white rice
4 cups ground cinnamon
2 cups ground ginger
1 cup ground cloves
1 cup ground nutmeg
Ah yes, pumpkin spice, the quintessential flavour of autumn. We figure there are a million recipes for hot drinks, buttery pastries, and everything else under the sun featuring pumpkin spice. It belongs in literally every single dish imaginable, so why not try it on the simplest, most inoffensive dish possible: White rice.
- Prepare rice according to package instructions.
- Contemplate how much you hate it when recipes tell you the above because no duh, you’re going to follow instructions, you’re not a total fool.
- Realize you are a total fool and bought cloves of garlic instead of cloves-cloves. Whoops. It’s all the same stuff, right?
- You also bought whole cinnamon sticks instead of ground, so throw them on the ground and step on them a bit to properly, um, ground them.
- Mix all spices together in a bowl that’s too small because your roommate used all your larger bowls.
- Discover that you burnt the rice because you cannot, in fact, follow package instructions. (You’ve never done this without a rice cooker before, okay? Rice is hard!)
- Decide to omit the rice because those carbs are just getting in the way anyway. Instead, pour spice mixture directly into mouth. Better yet, just use an IV drip.
Organic autumn tea
Cooking time: 2.5 hours
1 large bucket
1 smaller bucket
1 tsp chamomile flower
Good job, you messed up making rice. Well, at least you can’t mess up tea, right? A hot cuppa is the perfect thing for this miserably cold weather and your shot nerves. We guarantee this will be the freshest brew you’ve ever brewed.
- Place large bucket outside, uncovered, to accumulate rainwater. Leave for about two hours.
- If not currently raining, check to make sure you’re in the right city, then reapply bucket.
- Meanwhile, use smaller bucket to gather fallen tree leaves. Unlike mushrooms, the more colourful, the better! Aim for a variety of different species to really enhance the body of your tea.
- Once you’ve accumulated a respectable number of leaves, bring collected rainwater to a rolling boil. Add leaves, then reduce heat to a simmer for three minutes.
- Add chamomile flower for its calming properties.
- Remember that you hate chamomile (it smells so good, but it tastes so YUCKY!) and become irrationally angry instead of soothed.
- Serve lukewarm because frankly that’s how you feel about this whole cooking thing at this point.
Halloween basket extraordinaire
Cooking time: About two weeks, give or take a year
200 g leftover Easter chocolate
50 g leftover Valentine’s Day chocolate
30 g mints pilfered from various restaurants
1 handful last year’s questionable Halloween candy
(Optional) 0.75 oz self-control
Like a responsible neighbourly adult, you bought a big box of Halloween candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately, like an irresponsible child you appear to have eaten it all yourself already. (You had to cleanse the chamomile taste somehow.) Luckily for you, this recipe contains a decadent blend of complex flavours that are guaranteed to be a hit among the kids.
- In a large bowl (did your roommate do the dishes yet?) assemble the first four ingredients. Toss well to mix.
- While the candies marinate, dig through every desk drawer and every winter jacket you own in case you missed one or two candies.
- Stir the mixture periodically to ensure all pieces are evenly coated in the atmosphere of Halloween spookiness. Don’t be afraid to taste as you go to ensure you have an optimal balance of flavour profiles.
- Once thoroughly mixed, store in a cool, dry, childproof place until ready to serve on October 31.
- Spend Halloween sitting by your door wondering why you haven’t had a single trick-or-treater, then remember at 11 pm that you live in a basement and no one knows you’re here.
Bonus: If you play your cards right, your basket extraordinaire can also serve as your contribution to your next holiday potluck. And next year’s Valentine’s, Easter, or Halloween. The feast never ends!