Forest Hill Drive will be closed Monday, April 22.

Summer sneaks away as fall tiptoes in at Isaac’s Café

By Kathy Hart

Fall tiptoes in as the days get just a bit shorter, the nights a touch cooler and my sudden urge for a pumpkin soy latte intensifies.   The creatures that call Bernheim home are noticing the difference as well; they are gathering the last of summer’s bounty and fattening themselves with the early autumn offerings that help them prepare for winter.

Ever notice how busy the bees around Bernheim are this time of year?  To prepare for winter, they need to gather as much pollen from the fading fall foliage as possible, driving them to forage from the first glimpse of sunrise until the long shadows of day force them back into their hives.

Nature has adapted to using what is available when it’s available, as an instinctive means of self-preservation.  I believe that, as humans, we do the same but have opted over the centuries to get further and further from what our ancestors did instinctively.  Some of this distance is a result of learning from past mistakes and becoming more efficient, feeding more and more people and extending life expectancy.  However, there have been other so-called advancements that, although seemingly more productive and beneficial, actually hinder our natural growth and development as a species.  For many, what we eat to sustain us looks less and less like food and more and more like “food like substances” that are void of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need and are instead filled with chemicals and compounds that cause disease, obesity and a myriad of problems.

At Isaac’s Café, we take our cues from nature, using what the Edible Garden gives us each week, to provide local, sustainable and healthy offerings every day.  This week we will be featuring the last of the summer vegetables like Japanese eggplant, peppers, spaghetti squash, fresh basil and even a few late tomatoes.  While we patiently await our fall crop of fresh salad greens, kale, sweet potatoes, and turnips, we will use what we’ve been given from the bounty of Bernheim’s Edible Garden.   By using the freshest ingredients, grown just steps away, and supplemented with local meats and cheeses, we get back to the basics.  Just like the inhabitants of this area centuries ago, we will use what the land around us provides, including fresh persimmons, foraged just yards away from the Café in the form of delicious persimmon bread.  Get it while you can!

Our meatless Monday special will be spaghetti squash with marinara, using the last of our heirloom tomatoes, green peppers and fresh herbs, a side salad and garlic bread for just $6.95.   The rest of the week will feature grilled pesto chicken casserole, roasted eggplant and perhaps a few garden surprises.  Come check it out!

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