For many, fall off-season is a time when we shift our focus to home. The cooling weather slows our hearts and in turn, slows the pace of our days. The fun but frenetic months of summer—all the biking, camping, hiking, traveling, and fishing that we do in a few short months—slide out of focus.


Instead, we hunt. We rake leaves. We go for long walks through town. We ride our bikes along the bike path. We clean out the shed. Get rid of old clothes. Old toys. We drink hot cider and make popcorn.

Some might dismiss off-season in Telluride as one giant yawn. Those of us who live through it, however, know better. Abigail Washburn, during her fabulous concert on Thursday, described off-season as “hard-core” and expressed her enthusiasm for being among the “true Telluridians.”

I would argue, however, there’s nothing really extreme about off-season; rather off-season is simply a time when we move a little more intentionally through our days.

We pick up hobbies we forgot we loved. Dive into projects we abandoned in May. Dust off books and climb into bed early to read. Off-season is the necessary respite between summer and winter; it’s the lull between sets of waves when you’re out surfing. It’s calm. It’s beautiful. But it’s neither extreme nor boring. It’s just real.

For me, fall off-season is a time to dig through old recipes and cook. Often the recipes I find are from places I once traveled, places I forget about during the hustle and bustle of the week. But when Saturday comes, I find myself exhaling and instead of climbing onto my bike (as I might during the summer), my mind drifts to those faraway places I love. Places like Kenya. And India. And Thailand.

This week, I’ve included a recipe from my brief stay at the Thai cooking school in Chiang Mai. It calls for Thai eggplants but you can supplement regular ones you find on the shelves of your local market. Make it while you wait for the snow to fall and the skiing to begin. Happy off-season.

Chicken Green Curry


12 oz boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
2 cans of coconut milk (keep 2 tablespoons to use as a garnish, don’t shake the cans)
3 tablespoons green curry paste (I like Mae Ploy, but Thai Kitchen is fine)
1/2 cup of Thai eggplants sliced in half (if you can find them)
1 small can of bamboo shoots
2 tablespoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 kaffir lime leaves (or 1 tablespoon of lime juice)
1 handful of sweet basil leaves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced (optional)

Scoop 3 tablespoons of the thick coconut milk into a hot wok (or a large pot). Stir continuously until the milk separates and forms an oil. Add curry paste and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken and fry until the outside of the chicken turns white. Then add the rest of the coconut milk (minus the 2 T for the final garnish), the fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves, red peppers, and eggplants. Simmer until the eggplants and peppers are thoroughly cooked. Add half of the basil leaves and simmer for another minute.

Serve with steamed rice. Garnish with a few basil leaves, sliced jalapenos, and the reserved coconut milk. 

1 Comment
  • BOB
    Posted at 19:57h, 28 October

    I too went to the Chang Mai Cooking School years ago and made this as one in one of my classes. It’s great! We used little “bird chiles” in place of jalapeño, because that’s what we had. Hint. Follow the recipe and don’t do as I did and double the chiles, keep it like it is.