We are grateful to be settled back into our little house after Hurricane Irma blew through town and left much of the city without electricity. We stayed with my parents until our power was restored. We are thankful for our family’s support during such a trying time. Still, there’s no place quite like home.
One of the first things I did when I got home was look through a stack of cookbooks and plan several healthy meals to cook throughout the week. We came back to an empty fridge, and I wanted to use the opportunity to get back on track with healthy, nourishing whole foods meals.
On Monday we ate a delicious white bean and butternut squash soup from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food. I cooked it in one of my favorite pieces of cookware — our enameled cast iron dutch oven. Perhaps you all remember when I tried baking bread in it a few years ago, when I first dinged it up. Since then it has been through it all and had terrible scorch marks. Thankfully, we were able to clean it up pretty well recently and I’ve been enjoying preparing meals in it since. I like the way it retains heat, and it is especially good for cooking beans, stews, and soups, which I imagine I will be making a lot of with autumn approaching. So we just leave it on the stove lately.
Will brought home a massive two pound butternut squash for the meal, and helped to peel and cut it in half. Later on when I went to cook with the squash, I noticed that the two halves formed hearts filled with pretty little seeds. I love that.
I also enjoyed preparing two hearty salads: one massaged kale salad with raisins and pine nuts in a honey and garlic infused dressing, and another (pictured above) a spinach salad with coarsely chopped pecans, green onions, and sweet pears. The latter was especially tasty. I enjoyed the pears, after a couple of seasons of not eating them.
Yesterday I used the rest of the spinach in a glazed beet dish that was lick-the-pot good. The recipe, found in the cookbook Samarkand, originally calls for beet greens. Our beet greens were a little tatty, so I used the stalks and roots only and subbed in spinach. The beets are served in a pomegranate molasses glaze, which you get from reducing the cooking liquid (which is infused with the flavors of the molasses, a few cloves of garlic, and sauteed red onion). Later the dish is garnished with dill, though I didn’t have any and had to use dried. I loved all the red and purples at play in this dish. Cooking is a creative outlet for me in this regard–it’s a complete sensory experience and very stimulating.
The 17th was our 6th wedding anniversary, and Will came home with a big bouquet of flowers to celebrate. I’m enjoying them in the dining room and on top of my desk. Piper even has a little vase of her own in her room. Will thinks the baby’s breath looks like a continuation of my wedding dress where it is placed now. I love the way he sees things like that — I hadn’t thought of it that way until he pointed it out!
Piper had her birthday recently, and one of the gifts I bought for her was a sun printing kit. We’ve been enjoying time spent outside collecting objects to arrange, and seeing how our prints turn out. Our first one (pictured above) seems to have turned out the best so far. We used some weeds, dry leaves, and marigolds from our garden.
Speaking of the garden, ours is pretty overgrown with weeds right now. Just today, though, our friends stopped by to give us their rotating composter so we are looking forward to starting fresh. This is the season to do it, too, as the weather is milder. I will keep you all posted on our progress…
It’s about time to get dinner ready, so I’ll end things here for now. May you have a great weekend!