“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
- Robert Frost “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
Halloween was recently upon us. The holiday brings about a season of change. Autumn colors turn to bleak, white winters. Falling leaves become glistening snow. It’s a time of reflection. I find beauty in this time of simplicity. I find joy in the pace of change. Finding new light and choosing an undiscovered angle pushes me to discover and grow. The mundane revives me. It teaches me to take life one step at a time, to appreciate less and cherish more. It tells me that nothing can stay forever. No flower blooms for eternity. So, as I hold tightly to my pumpkin spice latte and listen to “Monster Mash” for the eight-hundredth time, I’m reminded that time forever ticks onward. That also means Christmas is quickly drawing near.
In my last post, I mentioned that this last weekend was Homecoming, and it was a complete success. From parades, to tailgating, to hosting friends for a chili-eating/pumpkin carving/card playing party, it was a wonderful time. Jon and two of my other friends came down and spent the weekend with me. We all went to the parade, cheered on the football team to victory, and warmed up afterwards with bowls of cheesy slow cooker chili with some friends. The weekend was full of fun, laughs, food, and memories. This is what fall means to me.
If you didn’t hear, October 22nd was International Stuttering Awareness Day! For all who were unaware of the celebratory holiday, now you’ve been aware, because being aware is good! I would be lying if I said I made a celebratory cake for the occasions, but cakes are hard and I don’t have the counter space. Anywho, while on the topic of stuttering, after my interview I did for the National Stuttering Associate (NSA), I was asked to write a weekly food column for the organization's bi-monthly newsletter. What an honor! It’s so humbling to have a organization that I admire so much reaching out to me to help contribute. I’m blushing.
Whenever that column comes out, I’ll be posting it on my various social media, so stay tuned for that.
Onto the recipe at hand! So….why grapes? Frankly, why not! They have been sitting in an empty yogurt container in my freezer and I wanted them gone. Yes, I’m that weirdo in the room who freezes grapes. In my defense, freezing foods helps them last longer, what can I say? Moving on. I have become a firm believer in the overwhelming power of roasting. Roasting does magical things to food, especially fruits and vegetables. A few weeks ago I learned how to roast peaches, which turned out exquisite. This week, I wanted to try my hand at roasting grapes and I wasn’t disappointed. The roasting process brought out these beautifully wonderful flavors that were both sweet and tart. The balsamic vinegar just accentuated the sweet counterbalances even more. Simple, easy, and outrageously delicious.
What to pair with these irresistible grapes:
- - Use as a topping on No-churn vanilla and cardamom ice cream
- - Bake it in a flaky, buttery pie crust or rustic galette
- - Plate it on an assorted cheese tray
- - Use as a basic cheesecake topping
- - In a morning bowl of yogurt!
Adapted from the recipe by the Food Network
- 3 cups of seedless grapes
- ¾ cups almonds, slivered
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- Juice of half a lemon
- Pinch of pepper
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. In a greased ovenproof skillet or 9 x 13 baking sheet, add the grapes, almonds, sugar, balsamic, and melted butter. Stir to combine. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice, honey, and pepper. Serve immediately.