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Good Food for Autumn: Wonderful Cookbooks with Comforting Recipes

Posted on October 13, 2021 at 6:00 am

By Abra Cole

Delicious, wonderful, comforting food. This time of year is perfect for enjoying all the warm tasty foods that we couldn’t make (out of season ingredients) or didn’t want to make (too hot for baking!) during the previous sweltering months.

At our house, we avoid turning on the oven at all costs during the summer months because the whole house becomes a giant oven when we do. Now that it is cooling down, it’s once again time to dig out those fall recipes that bring back cozy memories.

If you need some inspiration for an autumnal feast, your library offers a fantastic, ever changing cookbook selection (head to the 641 shelves!). Stop by during our newly expanded open hours to see what inspires you. Or discover great cookbooks in our online catalog to place on hold.

For fall comfort foods, I offer you these delicious ideas for recipes.

Pies

Pie crust can be an intimidating prospect. Seasoned pie makers all have their own best recipe. Is the true secret to use all lard? All butter? Vegan butter? Cheese?

The trick is to find what works best for you.

For many, the basic all butter recipe is the tastiest option. For me, the thing that adds to the appeal of this option is that I am far more likely on any given day to have butter, flour, salt, and water in my house than any of the alternative ingredients.

If you don’t already have a go-to pie crust or pie recipe, you can try one of these, or try them all to find a new family favorite!

The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies, by Erin Jeanne McDowell, offers 21 types of crusts, along with even more variations for each.

Pie Academy: Master the Perfect Crust and 255 Amazing Fillings, with Fruits, Nuts, Creams, Custards, Ice Cream, and More, by Ken Headrich, comes complete with no less than 25 pie crust recipes.

Soups & Stews

What is stew but a crustless savory pie? Whether you agree or disagree, stew—like pie—is infinitely adaptable to whatever you have in your cupboards. 

On a cold and stormy night, a big bowl of hearty stew with a side of warm bread to dip in it can be a big comfort to your body and soul.

I recommend flipping through Cook’s Illustrated All-time Best Soups for the sumptuous photographs, and staying for the straightforward recipes.

The Soup & Bread Cookbook, by Beatrice Ojakanga, has fewer pictures but offers simple and attainable recipes requiring minimal grocery runs.

Bread

Bread has a reputation of being difficult, and it certainly can be. But bread can also be one of the most satisfying foods to come out of your oven.

After looking through the beautiful pages of 100 Great Breads, by Paul Hollywood, I recommend trying your hand at the Irish soda bread. And the mixed rolls are a tasty addition to any dinner.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, check out Artisan Sourdough Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Delicious Handcrafted Bread with Minimal Kneading, by Emilie Raffa. The photos were enough to make me a bread devotee (if I hadn’t been already)!

For younger and new bakers, try the twisty inspiration that is Honest Pretzels: And 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Cooks Ages 8 & Up, by Mollie Katzen. This cookbook is full of super easy recipes, complete with drawings for the complicated steps!

Less traditional bread creations can be found in Salty Snacks: Make Your Own Chips, Crisps, Crackers, Pretzels, Dips, and Other Savory Bites, by Cynthia Nims. Pretzel connoisseurs won’t want to miss this book’s pretzel recipe.

waffle with pecans, cream, and drizzle

Other Delicious Fare

I [Heart] Cheese: A Cookbook: 60 Ooey, Gooey, Delicious Meals for Serious Cheese Lovers, by Mihaela Metaxa-Albu, is full of cheesy deliciousness. This book includes recipes that are a little more complicated than others in this list but worth the trouble for devotees of cheese.

Will It Waffle? 53 Unexpected and Irresistible Recipes to Make in a Waffle Iron is an inspiring and silly cookbook that will encourage you to try cooking many different things in your waffle maker. Daniel Shumski, author and creator of willitwaffle.com, shares options for everything from breakfast (as expected) to main courses, snacks, and even desserts!

A fall staple at my house is homemade applesauce. We love to head up to Green Bluff for our apples and spend an afternoon letting them simmer on the stove, filling the whole house with the sweet cinnamon smells. The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, by Amy Traverso, provides many (many!) other possibilities for your freshly picked crop.

The Pumpkin

And finally, we can’t have a collection of tasty fall favorites without including pumpkin. The library offers several cookbooks that offer tasty pumpkin recipes.

With these three cookbooks, you’ll have all your pumpkin needs met as they each offer a plethora of options to satisfy pumpkin cravings.

I encourage you to grab a cookbook and some fall ingredients to make something delicious and warming for the soul. Then, settle in with your coziest blanket for a relaxing winter of comfort food and reading. May you stay warm and well fed through autumn and all winter long.

Abra Cole

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