You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.
The weather is cooler, the sun is setting earlier, and it's time to stop eating tomato salads and turn on our ovens again. With that in mind, this week we're answering the question: What's the first thing you cook when the weather gets cold?
Comfort food is as personal as it is delicious -- soups, stews, ragus, you name it. What's your fall go-to?
Amanda: Hot milky tea. Neck wrapped in 2 layers of wool. Does this count?
Merrill: Made my first ragu of the year last week!
Christina: I made Community Grains polenta on Sunday which required some 2-hour slow-cooked TLC over the stove. That stuff is the perfect bed for everything.
Michael: BRUSSELS SPROUTS!
Jennifer: I like to get the oven going again and start to slow roast a chicken or pork roast.
Kenzi: Forget ovens. Cold weather or not, I'm cooking this.
Amanda Li: I made the Beef Broth for Pho from Charles Phan's Vietnamese Home Cooking. 5 hours of babysitting hot steamy broth.
Lindsay-Jean: I always end up going on a soup binge. (Couscous soup last night, lentil soup tonight, and white chili this weekend!)
Maddy: Mushrooms! I made a huge lasagna on Sunday with a thick layer of sauteed mushrooms.
Brette: The roast chicken part of this recipe, with lots and lots of black pepper and cumin.
Kristy: I made a sausage, kale, and bean soup on Sunday (using fresh cranberry beans from the greenmarket). I'm so happy it's soup weather! I love Roasted Carrot Soup. I also plan on making a lot of Fesenjoon and Pomegranate Roasted Carrots.
Marian: I'm a huge fan of savory tarts. I made this last weekend for my family and it was a huge hit. I think it had something to do with the twelve tablespoons of butter.
Stephanie: I made lasagna during a weekend away at a cottage. It reminded me how much I loved baked pastas in general. It's easy and they get all toasty and I love them.
Kristen: Broccoli cooked forever, plus cranberry beans cooked forever, with a fried egg on top was dinner on Friday. So I guess that won.
Molly: I am a roasting machine -- roasted cauliflower, roasted apples, roasted everything. But I also love making a monster pot of beans (with plenty of bay leaves!) for the week.
Ryan: Roasted veggies, any type. Usually tossed with a small grain and a vinaigrette. The main reason for waiting until the fall is the oven makes our apartment too damn hot!
Karl: Fall usually means it's time for a honkin' huge batch of chili which, after eating a dinner with a couple servings, we freeze into quart containers in our chest freezer. Taking a recipe and multiplying by 8 (and using our 8 gallon brewing pot to hold it all), we can usually make enough to enjoy it once a week for the winter. Soaking a variety of dried beans instead of using canned makes a big difference, both in taste and cost. It's also a great way to use up a good chunk of the ground beef from McLaughlin Farm we get as part of our annual eighth of a cow share.
Peter: It's boring but the truth is... applesauce. Fall means multiple trips to upstate orchards for bags and bags of apples. The more varieties the better. Peel 'em. Chop em. Simmer em waaaaay down. Throw in a pinch of salt and a dash of lemon juice and you're done!
Gheanna: Putting the bok choy and scallions from my CSA to good use by making stir fry almost. Every. Night. Going near the stove in the middle of July to cook anything would've made me cry, but now I'm more than happy to.
Nozlee: Like clockwork, when the weather gets cold I start craving tomato-y, beef-y recipes: spaghetti and meatballs, bolognese, meatloaf, you name it.