Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Snow Tonight & Recipes!

Golden Aspens in the Snow, 
painting by Gary Kim

Robert Frost wrote a poem about the evanescence of orchard blossom, a froth of pink and white, quickly gone with the first hard wind or freezing dawn:

It's right in there
Betwixt and between
The orchard bare
And the orchard green...

An autumn version will settle around us tonight. Cottonwoods and aspens stand aflame in the mountain valley. Aspen trees, Populus tremuloides, cluster in groves like the paper white birches of Maine, their brilliant autumn gold startling against a lapis sky.

By morning, gray-green sagebrush and wild purple asters will be mounded with snow. Snow falling softly among the autumn leaves, their light-shot brilliance fades to tan, and swirls to the earth as next year's loam.

To paraphrase the poet, Frost:

It's right in there
The aspens gold,
And the aspens bare.

I've brought a bit of autumn ochre and red-orange into the cool room of the house, pumpkin and winter squash. My heart leaps to see such beauty. 

Baked Winter Squash

Cut in half from blossom end to stem. Use a spoon to scoop out the seed cavity. If heirloom, separate seeds from pulp, dry and save for next year's garden. Or, bless  the wild birds with a treat.

Variations:

1) To each half, add a spoon of maple syrup and sprinkle nutmeg.

2) To each half, add a small pat of butter, a spoon of Sucanat, sprinkle cardamon and cinnamon.

3) Sprinkle each half with powdered cumin and stuff with cooked quinoa or Bhutanese red rice (cooked with a spoon of coconut oil, turmeric, garlic powder to taste.)

Bake covered in a solar oven for a couple hours or indoors in the oven for about 1 hour at 350 degrees F.

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