The pumpkins were greatly reduced in price at the grocery store - most people don't know what to do after Halloween's necessary carving out of the beautiful meat within but I wanted to make Pumpkin Pie and so without the luxury of canned pumpkin in this country I had to resort to cutting, removing the seeds and threads and roasting it in the oven. I had forgotten how long it took, how painstaking the process can be.
I set about making the pastry - a well tried recipe of half lard and half butter. It came out as expected and I put it to rest in the refrigerator. When the pumpkin was roasted and tender to the touch I pureed it up in the food processor until it came out looking like a bunch of Sumac leaves in fall. Smooth and golden I licked the spoon.
Risotto is a great dish at this time of year. I chose Butternut Squash and after I had prepared the fish cakes (ground tails of Salmon, bread crumbs, fresh ginger root, 1 red chili, diced green onions and sweet chili sauce) and put the cakes into the fridge to chill, I set about to make the Risotto. I had to roast the Butternut Squash first and doused it in olive oil and black pepper a dash of salt. It came out in nice golden chunks, soft and ready when the time came.
I rinsed out the Risotto rice in cold running water and added it to the soft onions in the pan, slowly, making sure it was glistening and golden. When the time was right I gradually added the stock, chicken in my case and kept stirring to incorporate it and added more before any stickiness occured. I kept adding the stock and close to the end I put some clarified butter in another pan and when it was ready I began to cook the fish cakes. In the meantime I threw the pie together and put it in the oven to bake. The smells defied life. I was in my element.
Just before the risotto was completely cooked I tossed in the Squash and sprinkled some coarse Parmesan Cheese on top. H made a green salad.
We sat down. I lit some candles. Music was not required. We had it on our plates. I saw Fall before me and time and happiness and tossed leaves on a sidewalk and I thanked the gods for what I was fortunate to have and I blessed the house and the pie in the oven and the whipped cream in the bowl that would fall like soft snow on the goodness of the earth.
I looked out the window and only darkness I saw and then a light on the road, a brief swish of movement and I stopped and thought about those who pass our door and never dare enter and what a loss that is-for all and I thought if they only knew how welcome they would be.