I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?
--Anne Shirley, in Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Fall is here.....or is it quite yet? October in the desert is always an exercise in waiting, in longing. Staring intently at photos of everyone else enjoying crisp mornings, cozy flannel, freshly picked apples and woodsmoke and steaming lattes (you know the Three-Letter Seasonal Beverage of which I speak) gets a little disorienting when the weather is determined to hang onto endless summer. A tempting breeze ruffles the leaves just outside my window, the light is all golden-tinged and wonderful....but I am not tempted at all. It's one hundred degrees and it's mid-October and I just plain have summer fatigue. Better to stay indoors, gazing adoringly at photos of pumpkins and woodpiles instead, dreaming of November.
We may not be ready for boots and hot apple cider just yet--if ever!--here in the Southwest, but we can have our pumpkin spice if I have anything to say about it. Just like last year, I'm not exactly feeling that Three-Letter Seasonal Beverage, but I do think the combination of pumpkin and something spicy is a winner. These Pumpkin + Chorizo Empanadas are like perfect little parcels of fall flavor (unladylike admission, you guys? I absolutely love anything that can be picked up and eaten out of hand in a few bites), and they're full of rich, wonderful pumpkin filling with just a hint of smokiness that makes me think of cooler days ahead. Pair this with an earthy, autumnal kale & apple salad in white miso-apple cider vinaigrette (more on that later), and November may as well be here already.
Pumpkin + Chorizo Empanadas
Makes about 12 empanadas
For the dough:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the filling :