joy in autumn

I put down my camera, this month so that I could focus on some home projects. Although, I am desperately missing the contemplative time that I spend looking through the lens, I've had such a sense of renewal at home and it's been wonderful to get things in order ( time for Christmas! ;-) )

Along the way, my family time has been intensely sweet.... I've been having a chance to try new recipes and there have been many pleasant afternoons around the kitchen table as the dark and cold come so early, these days. There has been everything from soups to cookies to crumbles - a heavenly brioche and warm french gougeres (cheese puffs =]) and chicken and wild rice chowder (an earthy, hobbity tasting soup with the mushrooms and vegetables....) and these sausage, walnut 'n raisin stuffed butternut squash. It's a Vermont type of recipe that Tom remembers originally stuffed with Venison and chestnuts and served with maple syrup. (I've just asked him and he says, 'it's a recipe whose origins are lost to ancestral memory.'  Oh, well.... =/) Generally, the ingredients are:

butternut squash (cut in half, brushed with butter and brown sugar and steamed in the microwave till pretty soft)
onions sauteed in butter
cooked crumbled sausage

and there's more brown sugar and spices in there somewhere and I bake it for a wee bit.... I don't know exactly... it seems like there should be more ingredients.... I make it up every year. (Oh, der.... I forgot the apples sauteed in the butter, too.)

Happily, however, for Thanksgiving, tomorrow at Grandma's house, there's no cooking for me (well, traditionally, I stir the gravy... =]). I am (Oh, boy! Oh, joy!) in charge of setting the table - which suits me perfectly!

From the heart of my home to yours...

Happy Thanksgiving!