Comfort by the quart

October 27, 2008 at 9:29 pm 1 comment

It’s a dark, cloudy, windy day. The temperature is dropping steadily. The rain starts to fall as you’re on the way home. You turn a block early; you have to pick up groceries for dinner. Except the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. But you’re hungry, so you turn up your collar, stuff your hands in your pockets and dash through the raindrops into the store. Dutifully, you fill your basket with meat, vegetables and bread — all the makings of a healthy meal. Still, it seems that nothing can shake the shiver and gloom of shortened days and the chilly wind.

Then you see it:

And in an instant the memories flood your mind. Visions of autumns past — a refrigerator shelf full of the 1-quart containers, that still never seemed to be enough, of tall glasses full of the oddly delicious stuff. You remember pancakes, biscuits, french toast, hot chocolate, chai tea — ordinary foods given pumpkiny new life. The two, large sweet potatoes in your basket seem, suddenly, sweeter.

Why, all you’d have to do is peel them and cut them into 1 – 2 inch chunks, toss them in a sauce pot and cover with cold water, adding a few pinches of salt (about a teaspoon). Then bring them to a boil and let them cook in the boiling water until they’re fork tender (about 30 minutes).

Then you’d drain the water out of the pot and put the potatoes back on the burner for 3 – 5 minutes, to cook out some of the remaining moisture. Life is all about these subtle little details.

And THEN you’d take this:

And do this:

Who knew your night would be so good?

Finally, when the potatoes are smashed to your liking, you’ll add about 2 Tablespoons of butter, 2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Soy Milk, 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and a pinch of salt (a little bit of scrapings from a vanilla bean, or vanilla extract, if you’re feeling fancy). And mix it all together, as you listen to the sound of rain tapping the window.

It doesn’t look like much in the pot, or even on the plate. But with every bite, the chilly and gloom feels farther and farther away, until it’s nothing but a quiet neighbor, a distant thought. Curable.

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Entry filed under: Food. Tags: , , , , , .

I’m not running a marathon right now If you’re crazy and you know it

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. onewandering  |  October 28, 2008 at 12:21 am

    oh, how I wish I was a brownie living in your house… I’d eat so well!!!

    my dinner was not nearly as yummy, but I did serve it with chocolate milk, which made things SO much better! ;)

    Reply

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