Some things are too good to last. Nostalgia's the exception.
When I was a growing up, our back door was a revolving one; there always seemed to be company in the house. After I moved from home to attend university, I found opportunities to host the odd dinner party or get-together, hectic schedule notwithstanding.
But then I moved to the Big Smoke, and there always seemed to be one thing or another to keep me from playing hostess. First it was not really having space of my own—I was renting a room in a stranger’s home—and after I moved to a dark basement apartment, it was not having space at all. Since moving out of that apartment over two years ago, a dilapidated couch and the absence of a dining table have kept me from entertaining as often as I’d like.
We still don’t have a dining table, but we have a new couch, and it was put to good use last night as A and I hosted a games night for my childhood best friend and her partner.
Red lentil dip, tapenade, crackers, and toasted pita…
Assorted veggies and freshly roasted pumpkin seeds. Tasty!
I had been so excited to have company over that I had this little snack menu, humble as it is, planned weeks in advance. Here’s hoping that it won’t be too long before I’m playing hostess again!
Or rather, I had missed the season. And now I couldn’t be happier that it’s returned in all its crisp, multicoloured, self-assured glory.
The picture above is from early November 2009—I haven’t taken my camera for a walk yet, but I will. Excited by the low-double- and single-digit temperatures, I’ve spent much of my weekend in the kitchen baking.
A and I are spending the coming holiday weekend with his parents, and I’ve planned to contribute my homemade cranberry sauce and pumpkin risotto to the feast. I also wanted to bring a little healthy something to share for breakfasts while I’m there—all the more because after four years of ovo-lacto vegetarianism, I’ve been flirting with veganism and don’t want to impose upon my mother-in-law any more than necessary. So I made a test loaf of this bread yesterday afternoon, keeping with Thanksgiving and substituting applesauce for pumpkin. A and I liked it so much that I baked a second loaf late this afternoon. Once it’s cooled, I’ll freeze it for this weekend. This was a day that started off with slices of yesterday’s harvest loaf and freshly baked seasonal fruit. I feel relaxed, content, accomplished and, well, seasonal. Nothing beats baking to cool fall air wafting through the windows!
And speaking of beets, I made this beet-barley risotto, minus the ricotta, for dinner this evening. A mildly sweet, earthy dish—the perfect accompaniment to a damp fall evening.
Now, glass of Viognier in hand, I’m lighting some candles and settling in to read. Summer had nothing on this season as far as I’m concerned. Thank goodness for fall!
Listening: You Are Free by Cat Power.
Reading: A client’s manuscript and the current issue of Sweet Paul.