What fall foods, besides chili, work well for crowds?
According to locals, we may have one of those loooong lovely falls that start quietly and small, granting us a gloriously colorful mid-season zenith, then lingering softly here and there in tiny tucks and corners of hill sides protected from winds whispering "winter's joys are coming..." as they filter the changing days. That said, the chance for fall get-togethers will be increased. What meals work well outdoors in chancy weather?
Pot roasts, stews, sausage casserole, thick soups- anything hearty really. Everything can be filled out to allow for more guests, even if they are unexpected! A slow cooker is a must have in the autumn/ winter in my opinion as it allows a nice hearty meal every evening with minimal effort
I love chicken and dumplings. My Grandma always used to make that. I also make roast chicken once it gets a little cooler. Gingerbread takes me back to my youth too.
If you're going to be outdoors there's no reason you can't grill the same things you did in summer. Your table arrangements and whatever serving dishes you use could be more autumn themed in design and color.
You might switch out some of the vegetables in the side dishes if you feel it's necessary, so that they reflect autumn colors and a harvest nuance a little more. Use more oranges, purples, yellows and dark greens if you can. Appearance and smell affect people's perceptions about food, believe it or not.
Baked potatoes are great - white ones and sweet orange ones. Cooked indoors, then popped into foil ready to eat later on. They are perfect, they hold precious heat so nicely. We always have baked potatoes when we watch the 5th November Guy Fawkes fireworks outdoors.
I see at least one person mentioned stew. I second that and recommend adding to it bread bowls. Whether homemade or home "shaped" (as in taking frozen dough and shaping it before heating in the oven), stew in a bread bowl is so filling and warm. Definitely best on chillier days though. I'm not sure the preparation and end results (hot ovens, full bellies) would be welcome on a day that is just slowly transitioning from summer with plenty of warmth left.
And of course sweets are great for any gathering! Especially if it's something casual wherein people get together for coffee and dessert in the cooling evening, which is a good alternative to a traditional dinner meal if you truly have a "crowd." All the obvious pumpkin stuff aside, how about baked apples?
I would go with sausage and peppers. Usually when I make it for a dish to pass I make a mix of 4 pounds of sweet Italian pepper and one of hot. I use a variety of colors for the peppers-usually green, red, orange and yellow-great for fall colors
Some great answers already posted here - I agree that baked potatoes with chili is always a great cold weather meal. And I love corn chowder on a cold day. My Mom used to make this for neighborhood gatherings in the fall. I can't find the recipe my Mom used, but the Betty Crocker website has some great chowder and chili recipes: http://www.bettycrocker.com/search/sear … 0a6e45afb2
Corn chowder with a spicy southwest flair; baked beans; hearty vegetable stew; and with my French-Canadian heritage, thick, yellow split pea soup with crunchy sourdough bread.
If you have people coming and going, posole keeps well with low heat. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, warm tortillas, some fruit and you're good to go. It is easy and people love it. If you do not have a favorite recipe, try mine!
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