Of course, a few days after the last day of school in December, I caught a cold. I suspect that this is the cold that was being passed around school, and I am so so secretly delighted that this was NOT the flu that was being passed around. It took almost a week to shake it, and today I feel like my normal self again.
I started the day with a long, lovely walk in the sun. Today was cold cold but with little wind and lots of sun, it was of little consequence. We have had nothing but overcast these past few days, and it makes me feel like I am living my life in monochrome.
It was a day to cook. So that is what I did. I started with two enormous squash from the garden. Enormous. Zucchetta Tromboncino or Rampicante Zucchetta, a squash that usually looks like a long crook-necked trombone of a squash sometimes looks like a HUGE butternut squash. These were the size an adult human’s thigh. (That’s ONE of the two in the photo above.) Out of these two, the yield was a curried squash soup (made by Sam from a Moosewood recipe), a half gallon of pureed squash (in 2 cup packs), three quarts roasted squash in cubes, and enough additional puree to serve for dinner tonight. I put some through the Foley Food Mill and some in my old reliable Robot Coupe.
Still, there was more to do. I made an Osso Bucco with beef shanks instead of veal. The smell as it braised was incredible, and I stuck the three beets that I bought yesterday in to roast in the oven.
What else? Our two turkey’s bones at Thanksgiving made a gallon and a half of rich stock. We froze it in three giant jars, and one went to make a wonderful Barley soup – all it needs is the addition of some carrots.
Tonight’s dinner? The braised beef, cooked until it fell off the bone in red wine and tomato with carrots, onion, garlic, celery – seasoned with thyme, tarragon, bay, a bit of lavender. I will serve it with slowly cooked polenta and squash as well. It will taste of the summer and the garden and the winter and the hearth. Both fill me with happiness.