This time of the year never fails to surprise me.
It comes from right behind, blindfolds me, spins me around, and when I finally pry away the blindfold, my eyes squinting in the sudden light, I’m astonished as can be.
Right now, we’re almost sliding into November.
How did that even happen? Are you as surprised as I am?
10 months flown by, two months left, and time, our one truly valuable resource, reminds us again that it’s up to us to catch it while we can.
Don’t get me wrong. This is possibly my favorite time of the year – as we settle snug and comfortable into the last quarter of the calendar; another flip of the page; another day, another week, another month.
November brings about some of the happiest memories; our birthdays, just barely two weeks apart; warmer sunshine days here in Argentina; and the knowing that soon it will be Christmas, my favorite season ever.
And of course, this November, we’re moving – it’s another apartment, another neighborhood, another chapter to be written.
I’m excited; there’s the flutter of butterflies in my stomach; and as I’ve told you before, there are also tiny fears of course, that accompany every new step.Yet no new adventure is worth your time and effort if it doesn’t literally push you out of your comfort zone. No path is worth walking through unless there are new stones to turn, and fresh scenery and perspectives to greet.
But more than just the adventure, it’s the company that makes us stick through it. So I’m grateful for Juan, for being next to me, for being my friend, my love and my teammate. Gracias, mi amor!!
As I sit here pouring out my thoughts to you, I might as well tell you about the phrase that has been popping up in my head.
Somewhere once on Shanna’s blog, I found solace in the simple, powerful words she’d typed up on the screen – “To create is to reflect the Creator.”
We seek to create new things, new relationships, new goals and dreams every day, because ultimately, we’re creative beings whose desire to create is innate. Be it through paintings, or recipes, or stories, we constantly strive to create.
This year, I’ve been creating quite a bit – food photos, food recipes, and stories, evolving mainly around food and the memories it evokes.
This space has become such a sacred, treasured cove, that’s so much a part of me I wouldn’t know what I’d do if I had to stop blogging. So I just wanted to say thank you.
Thank you for listening to the tales I tell; for testing the recipes I introduce, and for being a part of this precious space, which allows me to be myself and much much more.
There are so many of you who have become friends because of this blog; and many more of you who I don’t know personally. But I wanted to thank you still; and tell you this – I appreciate all of you.
I’m sharing a plate full of these baked butternut squash fries with you today.
It’s a simple dish, nothing elaborate, but a token of my gratitude.
Crispy from the heat of the oven, tossed lightly in salt and pepper, these fries are my gift to you.
Thanks for being here.
BAKED BUTTERNUT SQUASH FRIES
(Serves 4 as a side)
1) 1 large butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded, cut into even-sized sticks
2) 5-6 tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil
3) Salt & pepper to taste
4) Cream cheese & chopped chives (for garnish)
1) Peel, de-seed and cut the butternut squash into even-sized sticks
2) Fill a large pot with generously-salted water and bring water to a boil
3) Pre-heat oven to 200 deg cel
4) Once water is boiling, add the butternut squash sticks and let them cook for 5 minutes, then drain away the water
5) While potatoes are cooking, pour cooking oil over an oven-safe baking tray (make sure oil covers entire base of tray) and heat oil in pre-heated oven
6) Toss partially-cooked butternut squash with salt and pepper
7) Arrange butternut squash sticks in the baking tray, making sure not to overlap them
8) Bake butternut squash sticks in oven for about 1 hour 30 minutes, flipping them over once after the first 45 minutes
9) Serve with cream cheese and chopped fresh chives