Saturday, October 07, 2006

A chilly autumnal harvest at USG

It was a chilly morning, and I was sleepy and underdressed, hoping it would warm up (no dice). But once I had some coffee (at Max Brenner's Chocolate by the Bald Man choco-emporium), I felt better. And once I walked into USG and noticed all the new fall vegetables, I got excited, for the first time, about the prospect of squash, root vegetables, hearty greens, and - of course - more apples.

Today's cornucopia:
Dried oregano and rosemary
1 butternut squash
1 bunch carrots
1 lb. green beans
1 bag spinach
3 heirloom sweet potatoes
1 lb. mixed fingerling potatoes
1 basket shallots
1 lb. red seedless grapes
8 apples (Mutsu, Honeycrisp, Jonamac, Empire)
Total spent: about $37

I've got a Cook's Illustrated recipe for butternut squash risotto, so I'll try that - perhaps served with grain sausage and spinach. The green beans and apples are for lunches, and I'll roast the carrots. Sweet potatoes will be baked and mashed, while the adorable tiny tri-color fingerlings I'll just roast with olive oil, rosemary, and salt.

The proliferation of oven-ready vegetables is a good indication of my current mindset - I'm ready to hibernate, but since I can't, cozying up with a blanket on the couch while a low-maintenance dinner spends an hour or so in the oven is the next best thing.

Last week's promises proved empty: I didn't get any celeriac, because I was tempted by squash and sweet potatoes and didn't want to go overboard; and applesauce will have to wait another week. I just didn't have it in me to carry all those apples along with my already-heavy haul. Though I'm thinking a combination of Mutsu and Macintosh will make a lovely sauce, when I do get to it.

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