I often feel like the ibis in Roy Owen’s wonderful story, The Ibis and the Egret, which he so kindly gave my daughter when she was born. In it, with the arrival of each season, the bird declares that to be his favorite season. For these past few weeks, autumn has been my favorite season.
The rain held off nicely through October and the leaves were golden as our Wednesday Walkers group headed out to the surrounding hills each week. Best of all, however, was the arrival of pumpkins and squash and their appearance on the menu.
Given the size of Switzerland, we are very close to our food, and with fields and farms abutting the city boundaries, eating locally is a matter of course. The famous Mathis Brändelistal-Hof farm overflows at this time of year. At their stands are more varieties of squash than you can count on both hands and both feet! I vowed this year to expand my horizons and try some new varieties. I have recipes for butternut squash lasagna, and delicata squash to be served six ways, waiting, and have already tried this delicious recipe for butternut squash recommended by a friend.
As pumpkins appear in the fields, seasonal pumpkin products begin to appear in the grocery store as well. My favourite are the Cappelletti alla zucca, orange pockets filled with ricotta and pumpkin, and the Bergkürbis-Ravioli, filled wth kurbis (pumpkin) and ricotta from the mountains. Both types of pasta are simply delicious doused with sage and pepper in melted butter. Fellow hikers recommended using finely chopped walnuts and parmesan, and that was tasty too. Now I have two ways to enjoy my favourite flavors of the season.
As pumpkin season passes, it will start getting cold enough to fire up the fondue pot. Another wonderful Swiss treat to look forward to!