There's something special about a slow cooked Sunday dinner, the delicious smells wafting through the house as the chatter of commentators, roar of the crowd, and smack of helmets and pads drifts from the television.
Such multi-sensory moments bring me back to childhood in the old "garage house"—the first house my Dad built for our family, which would eventually be converted to a garage when he built the second, larger home next door, fifteen years later. Throw in the panic induced by unfinished homework, and my past Sundays are complete. Delicious dinners, football on TV, and school stress.
Since living on my own, these rhythms have changed. Subtract the football, replace it with quiet classical music, increase the school stress, and toss in an often over-the-top dinner preparation for a typical dharmagirl Sunday these past five years
This fall, my life is a little different. Add in one awesome, football enthusiast boyfriend who I'm teaching all about my crazy foodie ways, and suddenly Sundays feel and sound and smell a little bit more like those of my past, and feel more like home.
"What do you think—soup or lasagne?" I asked this past Sunday as I surveyed a bulbous butternut squash.
"Mmm, I can't decide that," he said, giving me free reign in plotting our dinner.
I decided that lasagne would be easier, since the butternut squash soup I most like making also involves homemade cheese ravioli, and I didn't want to spend all afternoon fiddling with tiny pasta.
I tackled the squash with my handy Wüsthof chef's knife, cubing it, tossing it with olive oil and salt, and placing it in the oven to roast.
Note to self: always set the timer when roasting vegetables, or they just might become a little too black and crispy...
After salvaging the squash cubes, and after the first football game finished, we laced up our shoes and went for a walk in the chilly, brisk bluesky world.
As afternoon faded into evening, I assembled the lasagne: layers of pasta, a ricotta shallot chard garlic saute, squash chunks, and bechamel. The top layer was garnished with expertly grated mozzarella (thanks, G:).
Add side dishes of roasted broccoli and cauliflower, garlic bread, and glasses of pinot noir, and slip into Sunday evening mellowness.
Try to forget that tomorrow is Monday, that another weekend has ended, that numerous football teams didn't perform as you hoped, that the grading hasn't been completed, that it's cold outside, that we have to say goodbye for now.