Early Fall Feast!

comments: 45


The weather cooperated so beautifully with plans for a first fall feast — and that is to say that it was a miserable last weekend of summer, if that's what you were looking for: rainy, blustery, freezing cold, damp, and generally more like what we get in November than the first week of September. We had been out and about so much lately that we really didn't mind staying in and watching tennis (I'm sure you've heard about the rash of upsets at the U.S. Open this weekend — fantastic — GO OUDIN!) and embroidering and cooking.

It was so cold and fall-like we decided to make Ina's Chicken with Forty Cloves, winter roasted vegetables, and creamed spinach (is there anything better than creamed spinach? You know there isn't). I make it like my mom used to: Saute 1/2 of a chopped onion in 1/4 c. butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in 1/4 c. flour and cook for a few minutes the mixture is headed toward turning golden, add 1 1/2 c. warm milk and whisk smooth. Bring to a simmer, cook until nice and thick (maybe ten minutes?) add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Thaw a 10 oz. package of frozen spinach and drain well. Add to cream sauce and stir to combine. Delicious delight.


I do love me a first fall feast. Remember our first one, when we got the Dutch oven? And the following year, with the ginormous apple? I don't know what happened to 2008 — I don't think we did it. This one was done with far less ceremony, and eaten (yes) in front of the television while watching tennis. It was too exciting. AND I was too tired to make the chocolate soufflees, after all, though I have all the ingredients and the ramekins in the freezer and everything. More to look forward to.

By the way, Typepad is changing things around again and making me nuts, but I wanted to let those of you who read this blog through a reader (I don't use one, so I'm not sure what you call it) know that I am still in the process of going back through the entire blog and fixing the text wrapping issues that I have had ever since I had to change the column width slightly during their last upgrade. This means going back through the blog and changing a little piece of code that is attached to every photo that was uploaded before this year, and it is taking me forever (and I don't really like going backwards, I must say). It makes me want to change the format of the blog entirely so that I have one big column (so the photos will be bigger and I won't have to have thumbnails) and one little column, and I might still do that, even though it will make all of the archived posts look really horrid. But I just apologize in advance for any unheaval that might result, because I think it means that all the posts will get republished in the readers, and I am really sorry for that. I still haven't decided what to do. Le sigh! I think I'll just watch tennis, instead.


I may just copy this meal! I love INA, I love her. I've never thought of pairing her wonderful chicken with creamed spinach (making a point to try your mothers).
Our weather is crazy as well, we are in Virginia and it has been wet and cool, and demading soups and stews..who am I to argue.
I showed off your book this weekend, you may have a new customer soon!

Looks Yummy!! I've never eaten creamed spinach before, but it looks good...what recipe do you use?

Hi Alicia, Just a thought about your typepad problem. I just moved my wordpress blog from the free .org to the .com version and needed to change all the links I had made to my blog. I looked around and discovered there was a simple SQL query I could do that would find and replace them all. If you are making the same change every time, I'm wondering if there is something similar you could do? Definitely worth 10 minutes on Google to check, sounds like. Good luck with that!

Oh fall. I'm starting to get into you, even though I don't want to let go of an amazing west coast summer. I bought a puzzle (of the Birth of Venus) to help with the transition.

A First Fall Feast is such a great idea--and yours looks scrumptious! I think it'd be the perfect way to celebrate the first day of fall.

Vicki Nelson says: September 08, 2009 at 09:54 AM

So sorry you are having hassle with your blog set up. I must say your blog (incl. archives) are very beautiful. I haven't looked at every blog out there but enough to say yours is THE BEST. Also, it is very nice that you do not have advertisements. Often blogs that are in any way artistic have advertisements. Your blog is a work of art, I appreciate it very much along with all of your hard work. Love you xoxo, Vicki

Oh Fall...I'm waiting for you. It's supposed to be one hundred again in a few days. California in September is nasty, unless you live on the coast. Your vegetables and chicken look fabulous!

YUM! I must come back and copy the cream spinach recipe! I bought some fresh spinach and was thinking "creamed spinach". :)
Of course, I may be the only one eating it...

I haven't seen any showing up on the feed reader yet (I use Google reader), so I think you're safe ;)

looks delicious. thats all i gotta say. xo.

Oh Fall...please come soon! It's finally not in the triple digits anymore, but mmmm, I cannot wait until the cooler weather comes to make this. Delish! And amazingly enough, I have never had creamed spinach. I am certainly going to try it now!

Thanks for sharing. :)

I love the fall and curling up with a meal like you created and some craft project to do. I already copied the spinach receipe. Hmmm! But we actually got to enjoy a beautiful weekend camping. Our summer in NW PA has been rainy and cool. I said when the kids go back to school we will have our Indian Summer of sunshine. I have to say it was great gathering around the fire makeing s'mores with 20 adults/kids and six dogs. Both of our weekends sound wonderful.

I love Autumn dinners. I love Autumn. We are having a little Indian summer over in the UK, so will have to put soup and stew on hold for a bit x

I cried over both of Oudin's wins and did you see the Friday night Taylor Dent win? WOW. I just got chill bumps remembering it. Love the Open!!!

Ooh that food looks so delicious!

Looks delicious. I so enjoy fall feasts. :)

Typepad is making me nuts too. I can't seem to reply to comments directly to the commenter anymore without creating a separate e-mail. If I hit reply in the comment, it posts to the list of comments and doesn't go directly to the commenter. I can't see myself going back through all the posts and fixing codes. In fact, I don't even think I know enough about html or whatever to do that.

That looks really good, I *love* garlic like that. I printed all the recipes, I am definitely going to have to make this.

I don't think it will re-post the entries (at least in Google reader) as long as you don't change the title. At least, that's how it seems to work when I make changes to my blog.

Oooh, I know that chicken recipe well! So perfect for that chilly, damp weather... Good idea!

I love creamed spinach, thanks for the recipe! I'm going to have a small fall celebration meal myself this week too - slow cooked chili and fresh cornbread mmm :)

Hasn't the U.S. Open been so exciting this year? I love Melanie Oudin. Clearly, the girl can play and has a ton of belief in herself, but she's still so charmingly and refreshingly 17. At a press conference or something during Wimbledon, I remember her talking about how cool it was that the Williams sisters had emailed her to say good luck. There's just something so nice about a teenager in the spotlight who isn't precocious and jaded.

Fall IS the time to feast!! :-) I love me some warm, comforting food when it is chilly out.
That spinach looks delicious!

So envious of your cool weather! L.A. will be hot yet for awhile and I'm so done with it.

I just realized I've never made creamed spinach and I love it - going to rectify that post haste!

I'm seriously coveting your dutch oven, I want one so much! My mom gave me a 2 quart Le Creuset sauce pan a million years ago. I've always wanted a dutch oven but they're so spendy, yikes!

I think it's time to stop waiting for that ship to come in and just do it, huh?! :)

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.