On a rainy turned sunny morning such as this, I sit with a slow cup of tea and copy of The New Yorker’s current Food Issue (Nov. 23rd). The sun climbs a ladder of wet branches, turns its gold light on the few remaining leaves left on the trees, and then scatters glitter over the shadowy road.
I put the magazine aside and scroll through the NYTimes online, Daphne Beal’s travel piece titled “In Marfa, Texas, Minimalist Art and Maximum Flavor” catches my eye. I’ve dreamt of driving to west Texas for the last five years. I imagine the open landscape, tumbleweeds somersaulting down desolate streets, a sheen of dirt sparkling in the mid-day sun. The camera clicks to the rhythm of my gasps. Today is the day. I pack my bags and leave a note.
Leave the turkey, bring the sides, and meet me in Texas! You can find me in Big Bend National Park, or in Marfa at The Chianti Foundation (to see Donald Judd’s minimalist art) or at the Food Shark delivery truck. Don’t worry, I’ll save room for pumpkin pie.
Until next Thursday,
p.s. I made a few extra jars of butternut squash butter for the trip. . . not that I’m bribing you or anything!
Butternut Squash Butter
Yield about 4 cups
3 pounds cooked butternut squash
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup white grape juice
1/2 cup dates (pitted and chopped)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Peel and chop cooked butternut squash.
Place all ingredients in a dutch oven or large pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer until liquid has reduced to a thick spreadable butter, about an hour or so.
Puree the butter with a stick blender or cool then puree it in a blender and process until smooth.
(This recipe is inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s pumpkin butter).