Tuesday, December 29, 2009

O Pie! O Canada!

I've opened two more windows. Yesterday's revealed a wedge of butternut squash pie in a graham cracker crust. Today's revealed a map of Canada with a blue arrow swooping down on New England like a sword of vengeance.


I had never had a squash pie. Somehow I thought the contents would be like the fibrous, stringy squash of a Boston Market side dish. Then later in the afternoon, Alicia, who was creating the pie with Judy, her mom, invited me to spoon some of the filling from the bowl. Whoa. Cool. Fruity. Reminiscent of key lime, but less tangy, more, I don't know, mango-y.

The finished pie sat on the table like a promise, but it had a hard act to follow. Stuffed chicken breasts; acorn squash stuffed with wild rice; zucchini and rice; salad; merlot. Finally, after the dishes were done, the pie.

Of course. Squash is like pumpkin. Squash pie is like pumpkin pie, except lighter, more delicate. A gustatory revelation! We watched the second half of "Julie and Julia." They would have approved. Sometimes food goes beyond satisfying hunger to providing deep well-being, and evoking gratitude for the favor and the memory to come. This was like that. A yum with a deep bow.


Winter is over a week old. The sun sets five minutes later than it did last week, but it seems that we've gained more daylight than that. Lemony light now lingers through bare branches at a quarter to five.

But winter gives with one hand (daylight) and takes away with the other (degrees). Today was a day for seeing winter as a two-fisted god, or maybe its henchman, the icy north wind in the Ojibway tale who tries to freeze Shingebiss, the plucky little merganser duck who's safe and cozy in his lodge. I can hear the north wind out there whipping around our lodge tonight, but I think it doesn't want to be in here. Out there is its place to roam, the wind from Canada, the one we call the Alberta Clipper, racing down from the prairie provinces like a hockey player streaking for the empty net, no defenders in his way.

We think we know North? We've got a lot to learn about North.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't that extra 5 minutes of sunlight delicious? Great post, Hal.