Bussin’ Fall Food Stories

During the fall season, pumpkins aren’t the only exciting thing – it’s also cooking and baking season. 

Kaylynn Tavernier, Editor in Chief

In North America, the pumpkin’s roots run deep. In fact, it’s been successfully growing in the region for more than 5000 years. It’s a fall favorite that’s also a Halloween and Thanksgiving staple. During the fall season, pumpkins aren’t the only exciting thing – it’s also cooking and baking season. 

Alexis Cox is a senior at Rocky Mountain High School. Cox said, “I love to cook because it is a way for me to escape from reality and watch something go from nothing to something amazing.” 

With the fall season’s arrival, people have different types of food they enjoy. Cox said, “My favorite fall food is pumpkin muffins from Coco; they’re good.” Cox said, “I love to just cook whatever, but I don’t like cooking pumpkin stuff.” There are a couple of fall foods that are not a favorite.

Cox said, “Pumpkin seeds are not my favorite because they get stuck in your teeth, and they don’t taste that good.” Some people have different perspectives on their cooking. Cox said, “I believe I am a good cook because all my friends and family say I am.”

Cox said, “The last thing I cooked was chicken and broccoli.” Some students have family recipes that stay in their family. “My favorite family recipe is my grandma’s sugar cookie recipe.”

Sarah Sturtevant is a senior at Rocky Mountain High School. Sturtevant said, “I love to cook because you can create anything with food and really make something special.”

People like fall foods for different types of reasons. Sturtevant said, “My favorite fall food is roasted sweet potatoes and hot cocoa, because they’re warm and cozy.” Sturtevant also said, “My favorite fall food to cook is green bean casserole, it has crunchy onion slices on top and cream of mushroom soup in it; it tastes really good we make it every Thanksgiving.” 

 Some people don’t like certain fall foods for different reasons. Sturtevant said, “I personally don’t like jello salads; the texture is strange.” Sturtevant said, “I’ve been baking with my grandma since I was three, I’m working in a restaurant, and I am currently in advanced culinary [class].”

“The last things I made were pumpkin streusel muffins with cream cheese filling and rosemary feta biscuits. We made those last week in Culinary.” 

 Some families may not have family recipes. Sturtevant said, “I’m not sure if we have any family recipes other than the green bean casserole, but there’s a recipe in our kitchen called “Glen’s pancakes” that I make often for breakfast.” She continued, “I could never stop baking cakes. I love making cakes and cupcakes, often I’ve made someone a cake for their birthday. I made my dad a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup themed cake for his 50th birthday because those are his favorite sweets.” 

Christine Boncore is a Food and Nutrition and Culinary teacher at Rocky Mountain High School. Bonocore said, “I enjoy cooking for other people, but not always for myself. Especially after a really long day of cooking!”  

With fall in season, different types of food are freshest and most popular at this time of year. Bonocore said, “It’s like asking a mother to choose her favorite child! Well, if there’s a Fair, I love roasted Mexican street corn with garlic & herb butter with cotija cheese. But on a cool, rainy day, I love a bowl of classic Tomato Basil Soup with a Grilled Cheese sandwich. Grilled cheese sandwiches can be an art in themselves… bread buttered – inside and out – with 3-5 different melted, gooey cheeses, and golden-toasted bread.”  

Some people have a favorite food to cook; Bonocore’s opinion: “Favorite fall dessert to make? It’s a tie between Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears and my Kentucky Butter Rum Cake (the alcohol cooks out). Or my warm Chambord Berry Cobbler topped with house-made French Vanilla Ice Cream. Favorite fall savory dish to make? Even though I’ve been vegetarian for several years now, I always loved chicken pot pie on a cold, wet day. Lately I’ve been digging my Caramelized Onions and Sharp Cheddar Cheese (flour) Enchiladas with Hatch green chili sauce. Even though I moved extensively as a child, ‘home’ was always Southern New Mexico and West Texas. So it’s an homage to my heritage and the landscape that helped shaped me into who I am.” 

Some people believe there are some fall foods that just are not the best. Bonocore said, “Would you think less of me if I say the ‘worst fall food to eat’ is Thanksgiving dinner? I’ve just never been a fan, even as a kid. Don’t get me wrong… the desserts are BOMB, but the rest… meh… Thanksgiving dinners are just too bland for my palate (I’m a super taster).” Some people have different thoughts about their own cooking. 

Boncore said,  “I attended culinary school at the 6th top ranked culinary school (at the time) graduating with the highest GPA in the school’s history…what can I say, I like extra credit. I was also on the state’s culinary team competing regionally. I’ve worked in scratch kitchens, a 4-star hotel [Embassy Suites] which was also the largest conference center in the state of Oklahoma, a private golf course [Belmar Golf Course], an exclusive retirement community [Terraces of Boise], and helped open a lodge in the Idaho mountains [Southfork Lodge] as well as a local steak house [Anderson Reserve).

Being in the right place at the right time, I was mentored by Chef Mark Cochran [American Academy of Chef’s inductee]. I’ve had the privilege to work with Chef Robin Obert [former personal chef to the Governor of Oklahoma] on various endeavors. And [I] will forever be grateful to Toby Keith’s personal chef, Chef Kelsey Elliot (née Majors) at Belmar with whom I did my externship. Of course the world is large and there are so many things I have yet to cook, so I think of myself as a student still. But to answer your question if I think I’m a good cook? Yeah… I think I have a small talent for it.”  

Boncore also said, “The last thing I cooked was vegetarian jalapeño poppers… made from jalapeños freshly cut from my garden. I had about 8 freshly picked jalapeños, a new container of garlic cream cheese, a bag of extra sharp shredded cheddar, and applewood bacon bits (made from yeast, not pork). So… voila!” Some families have family recipes that just hit different. Boncore said, “I would have to say our best family recipe is my grandmother’s sage cornbread dressing. She created an amazing dish that my mother, in turn, tweaked, and which I have since added my own magic to.”  

Some people have that one thing that they love to cook and will cook forever. Boncore said, “Curry! I love Yellow and Panang curries! To be honest though, MOST South Indian cuisine has my heart. But on it’s heal are my childhood Tex-Mex favorites. And coming in a close third would be Thai cuisine. Seeing a trend here?” 

The fall season is a great time to cook excellent meals and focus on the special memories that surround them.