Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn Is Here

Autumnal Equinox arrived nearly a month ago on September 22nd. This particular day in September has to do with the sun's position over the equator and the perfect division of 24 hours between day and night. But September 22nd didn't really feel like Autumn to me. To me the beginning of Autumn, the season, is much more subjective. It can't be pinned down through scientific measures. It has nothing to do with the date on the calendar. Nothing to do with the nearly iridescent leaves fluttering down in the breeze, or the pumpkins, or the blooming mums. Even the crisp, snappy air doesn't fulfill my peculiar requirement for the First Day of Autumn. All those elements can be present, for sure, and often are. But to me, Autumn has everything to do with light. It's the day when the intense and bright summer light gives way to light that's all slanty and orange.

Did you notice the light today? In my neck of the woods, in between the rainstorms, I found my perfect autumnal light.

Speaking of which, now we get sprinkle the adjective autumnal into our daily conversations. Try it. You'll like it.

And what's an Autumn day without a comforting autumnal meal?

It's time for squash and stuffing!

My Mom has prepared the following meal for our family for years and I finally made it for mine. It's not a family original; I have no idea where it hails from. So whoever you are, thanks! Hope you don't mind if I share it here!

Sausage Stuffed Carnival Squash

The squash doubles as dinner and the bowl! Nature's utensil. Fantastic.

You'll need:
4 carnival or acorn squash (The picture only shows half the batch)
1 lb of sausage, throw in some dried sage
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups hot chicken broth
5 cups stuffing

Wash your squash, remove the ends and cut each in half crosswise. Remove the seeds and fibers. Place cut side down in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until soft.

Meanwhile, cook sausage in large frying pan until lightly browned, crumbling with fork.  Do not drain.  Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together soup and broth.  Stir in sausage and drippings.  Add stuffing, tossing lightly until evenly moistened.  

Remove the squash from the oven and turn them over so the cut side is up.  Fill each with at least a 1/2 cup of stuffing.  Stuff as much in there as you can! If any stuffing remains, put it into a baking pan and bake it along with the squash.
Bake at 350 degrees for at least another 30 minutes or until squash is tender and stuffing is hot.

Happy Autumn everyone!

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