When the weather turns chilly, it’s hard to beat the appeal of a one-pot meal simmering on the stove. Be it the sight (and sound) of food cooking, or the aroma that wafts through the house, these things bring us instantaneous comfort. In addition, for the busy cook, one-dish meals are time-efficient, offering the greatest reward for the least effort. Whether you’re fixing supper for yourself or your family, or preparing a meal for company, one-dish meals are equally at home. Casual meals are flexible, too, and may be adjusted according to budget, preference, dietary needs and – the season. In autumn, spareribs and sauerkraut, made with red onion and a Granny Smith apple, is especially tasty and nice accompanied by some crusty rye bread. Alternatively, instead of bread, serving fresh-baked soft pretzels would be a good, especially with October being National Pretzel Month. (Unless you wish to make your own, soft ready-to-bake pretzels come frozen, so look for them at the supermarket.) For dessert and more fall flavor, spice cake is excellent, particularly when the recipe, which follows, comes from frequent recipe contributor Caroline Kennedy, of Bluffton. The cake, which starts with a boxed mix, is flavorful and ultra-moist, thanks to the addition of extra cinnamon and pumpkin. Recipes for one-dish meals, for breakfast, brunch, lunch and supper are popular and a boon when extended family and friends visit, sometimes for extended stays. Keep them in mind for the holidays, and if you don’t already have one of generous size – plan to get a bigger pot.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.