Squash. Onion. Rosemary. (plus a little butter)

October 12, 2010 § 4 Comments

I recently heard someone say, “One thing everyone who lives in the Midwest wants: to be elsewhere.”

I laughed when I heard it, because right now I have been feeling that very urge. Though, when I think back on it, I resent the statement. The Midwest is a great place–why would we ever want to leave it? Maybe we smell winter’s severity around the corner. When the weather is as gorgeous as it’s been, however, I doubt any of my fellow Minnesotans will be looking beyond familiar roads and favorite cafés. The skies have been clear, the leaves are at their peak, and the temperatures have been in the high 70’s and even 80’s. Families are heading in hoards to the apple orchards and pumpkin patches. And my friendly neighbors are passing out vegetables that are currently spilling out of their gardens.

One such gal who is a regular at the Bikery popped in last week and brought me a butternut squash. That weekend, I went out to St. Paul with my sister to loiter at Nina’s Café. Drinking French roast in the sun, listening to Roma Di Luna, I meandered into a time suck: my food blog collection. I found one amazing recipe for a savory squash and caramelized onion galette at the Smitten Kitchen. It was perfect for my butternut squash! I spent the early part of my Saturday night cooking. I peeled and cubed my squash, then roasted it in olive oil and salt for about half an hour. While that was cooking, I caramelized my onions with some dried rosemary. The. Smell. Was. Intoxicating. I mixed the onions with the squash, then added a 5-cheese blend of fontina, asiago, mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan. Oh–and meanwhile, I had been chilling my dough. I tucked the squash-onion-rosemary mixture into the dough and baked it. We ate it with a spinach, pear, and roasted pecan salad. Swoon.

The combo was so good that the baker at the Bikery totally copied my galette idea. Only he used goat cheese. Wow. This galette looks 10 times better than mine does. Is that a testament to natural lighting vs artificial or what? Whatever the case–it’s definitely the time of year to be doing things with squash. Colors. Savory flavors to ring in autumn. Peripheral thoughts of Other-Where. Leaves a gal feeling like she’s floating in a soup of sweet spices: nutmegs, cinnamons, and cloves.

I’ve been speaking to friends who are getting married, who are about to do some serious traveling, or who are diving into another swimming pool of schoolwork. I see yellow school buses pouring down Lake Elmo’s neighborhood streets. I remember riding the bus, back in the day. Bouncing along with the others. Watching colors stream by. Waiting for my stop. Thinking of that is a reminder that things can be as complicated or as simple as you make them.

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