Friday, October 28, 2011

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I was on my way home on the bus last night when I received a phone call from Matt. He had beaten me home, and with pizza on the menu plan and the fridge devoid of any of our usual pizza fixings (whoops), he posed this question: "Can I put baked squash on pizza?" It turns out that the answer is, very definitively, Yes. Matt pre-baked the acorn squash, carmelized some onions, and with some homemade passata sauce from the freezer and lots of garlic and cheese, we ended up with one of the best homemade pizzas I can remember (and we made two, so there are lots of leftovers).

(Click on Photo to Enlarge)

We are most definitely making this again. I'm thinking that chunks of pineapple would be an excellent addition to the sweetness of the squash and the onions. Maybe we'll even be able to manage a homemade crust next time.

After a long and busy week, I'm very happy to be home today to rest and catch up on being home, after several days in which I was away for 12-14 hours, never even managing to see the chickens or the garden (add to that both Matt and I having colds). Right now I'm taking a break (to eat leftover pizza :) in the middle of a day of seeing to some chores that have been put off a bit longer than I'd like. This morning, between finishing some work for my internship and trying to get ahead on some readings for my environmental health class, I gave the chicken coop a good deep clean and sent a load of dishes through the dishwasher (which is being used a lot more frequently these days). I'm planning to spend the afternoon changing out the bed linens (time for flannel sheets!), doing some weeding in the garden, doing some general cleaning around the house, and making a batch of granola. Veggie soup is on the menu for tonight, so I've got some veggie stock thawing and I'm thinking of potatoes and leftover squash, with coconut milk and some ginger thrown in for flavor. The days are getting colder and soup sounds good!

Matt is working today but we'll both be home all weekend, which will be really nice- it feels like we've hardly seen each other all week, with him out the door just after seven and me not home until as late as 8 or 10 PM some nights. We're hoping to get some yard work done, develop an organization system for our bills, and hit a farmers market to get some hamburger and sausages, which we've been out of for over a month now. Oh! and I just remembered I need to plant the garlic this weekend! We're continuing to try and plan ahead food-wise, but I clearly still have some learning to do: I often need to pack both lunch and dinner to take with me, but tend to underestimate how much food I'll need. We both had the same brainwave earlier this week: on the weekend, roast up two whole chickens, to provide leftovers to be used in lunches, as sandwich meat, and to make an extra-big batch of stock. The pastured chickens we eat are so small that the leftovers from one don't go very far.

Tomatoes ripening in the front window.

It's definitely feeling like fall around here. Typical Portland: the forecast for the next week is highs in the mid-fifties with a chance of rain every day. We had some really lovely (but cold) weather the last couple days, but now it's back into the clouds. It's getting dark around 6 PM now and the nights are getting colder. We're pretty pleased to be holding out till November to turn our heat on- any savings in expenses and natural resources feels good.

I've been meaning to take some pictures of the gorgeous fall colors in the park blocks at PSU, but I've always got so much stuff to schlep around that I leave the camera at home. For now, here's what the dogwood in our front yard is doing:

You can see some nice red maples across the street too.

That's all from me for now. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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