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Pat’s Pantry: An Autumn Feast

By Pat Mills

Let’s celebrate this new season with these recipes using the fruits and vegetables of fall. Come October we welcome autumn’s chill, and all the fall flavors of pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes. – Pat

Glazed fall vegetables

2 large sweet potatoes
1 large russet potato
½ pound baby carrots
1 acorn squash, peeled and cut into cubes
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup sorghum
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, cut into 1/2-in thick slices. Place potato slices, carrots, and squash in a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Stir together sugar and next 6 ingredients. Drizzle over potato mixture, tossing to coat. Bake, covered, at 425 for 30 minutes. Uncovered and gently stir vegetables. Bake 15 to 20 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Winter root vegetable
casserole

4 large baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 (16 oz) package parsnips, scraped
1 (16 oz) package carrots, scraped
2 medium onions, quartered
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter or margarine
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Toss together first 6 ingredients in an aluminum foil-lined 15×10-in jelly roll pan. Cover loosely with foil. Bake vegetables at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Process cooked vegetables in batches in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add milk, butter, and salt, and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Spoon into a serving dish; sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately, or chill. Yield: 8 servings.

Fried green tomatoes

2 medium-size green tomatoes, chilled
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup yellow cornmeal
¼ cup hot bacon drippings

Cut tomatoes into ½-in slices. Stir together mustard and next 5 ingredients. Spread mixture on both sides of tomato slices. Coat with cornmeal. Fry tomato in hot bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Drain. Yield: 4 servings.

Pumpkin bread

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2/3 cups water
1 cup pecans

Beat first 14 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in pecans. Spoon evenly into 2 greased and floured 9 x 5-in loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.

FOOD FACTS

• When cooking onions or cabbage, boil a small amount of vinegar in a pan to remove the odors.
• Most fat-free mayonnaise contains more sodium than “real” mayonnaise.

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