Butternut Squash Risotto Night

 

A couple of weeks ago, M and I were talking about how we both love fall and winter food, especially butternut squash. I thought to myself, “self, I wonder if I can find a good recipe for butternut squash risotto.” So, I Googled it, and found a recipe I liked on CDKitchen, and I asked M if she wanted to plan a night to get together and make the risotto. We decided to set a date for a few weeks out, and from then on referred to it as “Butternut Squash Risotto Night.”

This last Saturday was the night.I picked up a good sized squash at the Farmers’ Market at Grand Lake. We went together to the grocery store to pick up the remaining ingredients, and then headed back to M’s house. That was when we realized that we were missing an ingredient. This all added to the fun. We got back, and it was time to get to business.

I decided that I wanted to take on the squash. It was a big’un, and it took quite a bit of heft to get it cut in half. I’m sure M thought I was going to lose a limb. Once I had it halved and the seeds removed, I had to figure out how to get the peel off. I tried the big scary butcher’s knife, which just slid across the skin. M tried a cheese slicer, but that was just as ineffective. Finally I was able to get through the tough and slick skin with a serrated steak knife.While I skinned and chopped the squash, M worked on onions, garlic, cheese, and lemon zest. We did quite a bit of talking, so of course it took us a while. I don’t even know what time it was when we started.

Finally, with all the prep work done, we actually began cooking. M got the butter, oil, onions, and garlic going, then we added rice and started adding squash. This is where the, “are we doing this right?”s began. At first we were afraid that the squash wouldn’t cook. That maybe we were supposed to pre-cook the squash or the rice. Though the instructions didn’t say that. It became clear. though, that continual stirring was necessary.

As we began adding in the wine and started adding stock, we weren’t really sure what to expect, I don’t think. I stirred, and M added additional stock. The mixture became thicker and fuller with each half cup. Soon it was beginning to resemble something edible. But yet, the squash still seemed to be under-cooked. I stirred and stirred. We yammered on and on, as we do.

Finally, just as the pot seemed to be getting to small, we both realized that both the rice and the squash seemed to be just done. We added in the cheese and final seasoning. Then we dished it up with chives and basil on top.

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Of course there was enough for M’s husband to have some, too. We all three sat around the Tivo with our bowls of risotto and a glass of wine. M’s kittens were very intrigued by the risotto, too.

It was awesome. It was some yummy, cheesy, and good. We all decided that it was the perfect fall and winter cozy, comfort food. Making it together was a lot of fun. I am looking forward to making the dish again, and I highly recommend the recipe. I also am looking forward to getting together with M or any of my friends to make something new.

My Hair

A few months ago, I chopped off all of my hair. When I say “all my hair,” I mean all of it. It was midway down my back, but now I have a pixie cut.

Why did I do it? Well, partly because there’s just this little voice in my head that always says, “cut it. . . cut it.” I think I grow my hair out just so that I can get a dramatic hack job.

But I had another reason. Someone very close to me has cancer. Someone I haven’t seen since I was two and a half years old. And the only memory I have of her is of sitting in her lap, as she leaned forward, creating a curtain of long brown hair around me. It was like hiding in Cousin It. Now she’s going through chemo. She might lose all her hair. And she’s not alone. So when I decided to whack my hair off, I donated it to Locks of Love.

Locks of Love is an organization that makes wigs out of donated human hair for children who have long term medical hair loss, such as those who have had chemo treatments. If you have a ten inch ponytail, and you’ve been thinking of cutting it off, please consider donating it. It’s an amazing gift.

This one is for you, Sis!

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New Place

I found a new place.    I’ll be moving in early next month.   I get to pack myself up again, and rearrange again.   I’m scared.    This will be the fourth move in about two and a half years.    What I really want is that feeling of settled, and of belonging to a space.   I haven’t had that in ages.    I’m completely over being in transition.   I don’t think I’m as bad ass as I would have people believe, because seriously, right now, I want my mommy.   It’s seems like it’s well beyond the stage that I should have my shit together, and I just don’t.

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Mind Your Own

I work in a very nosy office. People here think nothing of asking some very personal questions. Of course, I’m not the most guarded of people (if I were, would I have this blog), and I’m not exactly offended. I just don’t see why they ask these questions in the first place. In the last week I’ve been grilled on what my living arrangements are, questioned on my future plans (or lack there of) to wed, and been interrogated in detail on my family planning objectives and methods. These people are all up in my uterus.

I blame our baby-centric society. If you doubt that our society is baby-centric, look no further than the celebrity blogs. A solid majority of the “news” they cover involves who may be pregnant, and once the celebs do have children, they post the latest paparazzi shot of the most mundane family outing.

There are no less than three expecting parents in my office of about 15, and 2 brand new moms. Congratulations to them. Mazel Tov, even. But seriously, stay out of my womb.

As I found myself at a loss for how to respond to these questions, I found myself being sucked further into the conversation. Again, I wasn’t offended, so I wasn’t sure how to respond. I also didn’t want my co-workers to feel guilty or like I was angry with them. I didn’t want to reprimand or berate them. I just wanted to change the subject.

It wasn’t until later, when I was rehashing the details with M, that I came upon the perfect response to any sort of questions pertaining to my intentions of child-rearing. I’m just going to say, “I don’t have any children,” regardless of the question. Armed with this, I felt that I had everything under control.

But then, this morning, one of my co-workers found something new to harp on. Apparently my being a vegetarian is very unhealthy for me. Who knew? Also, I’m going to die a terrible death from cancer because yesterday I microwaved my lunch in a plastic container. And this wasn’t just a single statement. He went on and on.

I should have just told him that I don’t have any children.

His Noodliness Hath Appeared to Me

I am an adherent to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster; a devout Pastafarian. I have been touched by His Noodly Appendage, and my life has been saved. He has appeared to me many times before, mostly swirling around the drain in the shower, but most recently on the sidewalk on Grand Avenue. I snapped this picture:

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**RAMEN**