I am SO. OVER. IT.
Seriously California, if I wanted humidity and heat I would have moved to Florida (and at least wouldn’t pay income tax, not to mention I’d be closer to my beloved family). The fact that we are in the second half of October and I can’t even look at a pair of jeans without sweating actually makes me angry. Don’t even get me started on the new sweaters and boots sitting in my closet, tags on, snuggled in their boxes, unworn and unnecessary. I really can’t. Instead I reach for one of the same three maxi dresses I’ve been wearing all summer; the only ones that don’t actually touch my skin. No matter how many times I’ve cleaned them, they still have the faint lingering scent of sunscreen, which is really the anthesis of true fall fragrance.
Normally by this time of year my house is covered with gourds and pumpkins and accents of orange and brown. This year it just feels wrong to put a pumpkin on a table, much less an outdoor stoop, where it will likely rot in the sun long before Halloween.
Last week, out of desperation (and perhaps hope), I bought a scented candle at Bath & Body Works, called Leaves. We’ve taken to lighting it every night when the sun goes down and my husband I both agree that it provides a comforting, albeit pathetic, mental shift that perhaps the seasons are changing after all.
But nothing really says fall like the smell of a pot roast slow-cooking all day. As my husband commented, “It’s like fall air freshener!” It takes all of 5 minutes of work (and then 8 hours of cooking) and your house will smell amazing, whether it’s 90 degrees or 30 degrees. And arguably the best part is that you don’t have to make your house hotter by turning on an oven.
You’ll need a 2 to 2.5 pound roast, some red potatoes, carrots, an onion, thyme, bay leaves, beef broth, salt, pepper, and a little red wine (but only if you have a bottle opened, which we always do).
Slice an onion into long pieces and divide in two parts.
Peel the knotty parts off the potatoes and scrub them.
Put half of onions, potatoes, and pre-peeled and cut baby carrots at the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a few sprigs of thyme and bay leaves. This will create a “bed” for the meat to rest on.
Rinse the roast and then lay the cut of meat on top of “bed” of veggies. Cover with the remaining onion, potato, and carrots. Garnish with a few sprigs of thyme and bay leaves. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and maybe some onion and/or garlic powder.
Add 1-2 cans of beef broth (roast should be about 3/4 covered) and a 1/4 of red wine.
Cover and simmer on high for about 8 hours, or until tender.
The roast should easily fall apart with a fork.
I served with roasted brussel sprouts, but a side isn’t even necessary. And there you have it: fall. No big deal.