It’s getting to that time of year when you know it’s all about to change. You may not know when, but it’s coming. I’ve made my tire appointment, we’ve already burned through a noticeable quantity of firewood, and for a good two weeks before the clocks changed, the kids got on the bus in the dark.
Leaves have changed, been admired, and shaken themselves free. Giant bonfires of scraped-together cornstalks one night yielded a gorgeous and surreal autumn vista by morning: smoke hanging low over the Valley floor and all the colour and orange-gold light. In the garden, I’m still harvesting kale, swiss chard and broccoli and wondering how I’ll find the time to plant the garlic. I can still pick raspberries a few at a time, and if I looked really hard, I could find a sound tomato. Still, it’s after Halloween and long past the first pumpkin pie.
Last week, we ordered piles of last-of-season greens, beets and herbs from Katrina Fairn and Angie Schoonhoven. I’m sad to let this connection go for the winter, we’ve had such a good time at the Berwick Farmer’s Market and I miss it. I’m wondering when it’s going to get cold and stay cold.
Fall and winter are cozy time for me in the restaurant. In the summer, when we’re sweating to death and wondering why in hell anyone would order French Onion soup, it’s hard to remember that the kitchen can be such a welcoming place come cooler weather.
I’m looking forward to the dishes we cook for the holiday season: Carrots baked in Honey and Butter, Turnip with Garlic Cream, Sweet Potatoes and Maple Syrup, and Roasted Vegetables of all kinds, including Parsnips, Celeriac, and Beets. For now, though, I’m hanging on to end of fall. I made this dish for Sean and I a few nights ago, it’s just the kind of thing when you have your foot firmly in two seasons at once.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Greens and Sausage serves 4
1 small Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 T. Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
16 C. mixed Chopped Kale, Swiss Chard, or any kind of greens
1/2 lb. Cooked Sausage, cut in rounds (or substitute 6-8 oz Smoked Tofu, cut in strips)
Green Tomato Pickles or PC Fig and Balsamic Sauce
Preheat the oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toss the squash and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil together with a little salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring after ten minutes, until fully softened and browned. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for ten minutes or so, stirring often, until they are soft and caramelized. Fire in the garlic, kale and ½ t. salt. Stir and cook for a minute, then add ¼ C. water and cover. Cook for five minutes covered, then and add the chard or other greens and cover again. Cook for five minutes, until the greens are nearly softened, then uncover and add the sausage or smoked tofu. Toss and cook until the water has evaporated and the sausage is heated through. Divide the squash amongst four plates, then pile the greens on top and grind on some pepper. This is amazing served with homemade pickles, but if your auntie won’t share with you, the fig sauce is rather good on top.