I wish I could remember what an “endless summer” feels like. My children have so much to look forward to, they’re itching for fall to begin: friends they’ve missed, sports to practice, the newfound freedoms that come with early adolescence. But for me, summer ended all too quickly—weren’t we just unpacking eight weeks of stuff and overtaking the grandparents’ cottage with our ever-present chaos? Is it age that speeds up time? I’d just gotten my groove, relaxed into the “no-schedule schedule,” and suddenly it was time to pack it all up again, cross the bridge and come home. Goodbye til next year, Cape Cod. You’re a beauty.
Thankfully, what’s waiting for me on the other side of summer is the best eating season of all. In early autumn the hot weather crops I wait all year for—like tomatoes, corn and eggplant—are at their absolute peak right as the fall harvest begins. I love this overlapping season, zucchini and winter squash displayed simultaneously at the farm. In a few weeks the air will crisp up, leaves will change and my thoughts will turn to preserving this bounty—apples and cabbage and squash taking space in the root cellar or crisper, ready to cook when the weather turns cold. This is New England food at its finest, and it’s my favorite time of year to cook.
This year, October will be a bit different: Through a collaboration with Cambridge’s Go Ahead Tours, I’ll be leading Edible Boston’s inaugural readers’ tour, the first of many pilgrimages to various parts of the world to taste local food and study how other cultures preserve their traditions and food artistry. Follow along on social media as we taste our way through Northern Italy, from Torino and the Langhe for Nebbiolo, white truffles and hazelnuts; to Modena, where we’ll learn all about making aceto balsamico tradizionale; Bologna, for handmade pasta, thin-sliced mortadella and chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano; and finally a Tuscan farm property where we’ll devour bistecca alla Fiorentina, chestnuts and wild game. Stay tuned for details on next year’s trip: Another custom itinerary is in the works, and we’d love to have you join us.
In the meantime, take some time to settle in with this beautiful issue. I created a few simple recipes for winter squash and Savoy cabbage, autumn stars of the farmers market—from shortcut handmade tortelli to soup to stir-fry, I hope you’ll be inspired to get back in the kitchen as the weather cools. Michael Floreak’s One Dish Dinners are easy, delicious family meals for when time is short and life is busy, and Karen Collins’ back-to-school healthy baked treats should fill every kid’s lunchbox this fall.
Lisa Zwirn visits two local schools and chronicles their garden-to-plate-to-classroom programs, proving that food and gardening can—and should—play a part in every child’s curriculum. Tara Taft and Lesley O’Connell introduce you to farmers market tamales and barrel-aged maple syrup, while Steve Holt lays out how open-book accounting can build stronger restaurants from the back of the house to the front. Our central MA expert, Margaret LeRoux, brings you into the Worcester Food Hub and Bethany Graber takes you north to explore Salem’s famed bakery, A+J King. Nina Livingstone’s interview with Sarma’s chef Cassie Piuma will have you on the horn for a reservation in no time flat, while Clare Leschin-Hoar’s examination of climate change and its effect on the local fishing industry examines how fishermen are adapting to rising ocean temperatures and a changing catch. A prescient piece after this hot, hot summer.
We’re so thankful for the extraordinary talent of all of our dedicated writers, illustrators, photographers and stylists, without whom this (and every) issue would not be possible. This dream team is the best in the business, and we’re lucky to have them!
Happy reading and happy fall,
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, soccer mom, Italophile and managing editor at Edible Boston. She can be reached at email@example.com.