Kicking and screaming into fall

I am launching a formal protest against the arrival of autumn. According to my calendar, it begins in just three short – and growing shorter by the minute – days.

I simply am not ready for it.

I’m not ready to give up sitting on my front deck, soaking up the summer sun and watching the walkers, bikers and rollerbladers go by.

I’m not ready to put the top back on my Jeep Wrangler and endure travels – short or long – in the comfort of an enclosed vehicle.

I’m not ready to don pants daily or get my sweater collection out of the cedar chest.

So go away fall! I want those long summer days back.

But I know the protest is futile. The days march on despite my sincere desire to slow down the calendar, and the recent cooler weather (except for yesterday’s brief heat wave) is just a hint of things to come.

Big sigh.

So I guess it’s time to look on the bright side of fall’s arrival, which for me is having a big batch of soup simmering on the stove. A former Daily Globe colleague, Kari Wasmund of Sibley, Iowa, recently emailed me the following recipe, noting that, because of my dislike for beans, they can easily be omitted.

“…usually I forget to buy them, so I guess this is Buffalo Chicken Soup and not Buffalo Chicken Chili,” noted Kari.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Cook 1 pound chicken breast or ground chicken in a large pan over medium heat; set aside

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the pan and add 1 onion, diced; ½ cup celery, sliced; and ½ cup carrots, diced. Cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add 2 cloves garlic, chopped, and 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup chicken broth or beer and deglaze the pan.

Add chicken, one 15-ounce can diced tomatoes; one 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed; 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon cayenne and ½ cup hot sauce (or to taste). Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve topped with crumbled blue cheese and tortilla chips.

More than a few months ago – long before the zucchini were ready for harvest – I received (and printed) a recipe for a Zucchini Pizza in response to the Cauliflower Pizza Crust food page. Shortly thereafter another reader submitted their own version of Zucchini Pizza, which I tucked away in the recipe folder on my desk. I just came across it again – but alas, it is a copy of a page out of a cookbook, with no name of the submitter upon it. With apologies to the contributor for the lack of attribution, here it is.

Zucchini Pizza No. 2

Coarsely grate zucchini to yield 3½ cups; press between paper towels to remove excess moisture.

In a bowl, combine zucchini with 2 large eggs, beaten slightly, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese and 1/3 cup flour; stir well. Spread mixture in a greased 13- by 9-inch pan.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and brush surface with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Broil 5½ inches from heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce over top. Sprinkle with another 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for an additional 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

A few of you have answered my call for your favorite apple recipes, but I could still use a few more and there’s still time to share. Please submit your best – old or new, tried and true or a recent find – apple recipes to share with your fellow Daily Globe readers. The plan is to run them on the Sept. 30 food page. Send to brickers@dglobe.com; or via regular mail, Beth Rickers, Daily Globe, Box 639, Worthington 56187.

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