For warmth

Sally woke up around four this morning wanting. We couldn't figure out what—she nursed, Alex scooped her up to take her back to her crib, and she started crying all over again. For a girl who usually wants only milk, it was odd. He brought her back in and nestled her under the quilts between the two of us, and she turned on her side and went quiet.

We slept that way all together until around 5:30, when Alex got up for work. Sally snuggled back in next to me, and I didn't hear from her again until seven. 

Ma-MA! When she put her hand on my cheek and I pulled back the covers, I realized suddenly what it was. It got chilly in the night!—it was crisp and sunny but cold all the same. It's time to get out the sleep sack and our Pendletons, and it's time to start turning on the oven and closing the windows.

I should have seen it coming. We roasted our first dish of winter vegetables last night—onions and cauliflower and sweet potatoes, all sprinkled with salt and drizzled with olive oil. We made a simple salad—arugula, tomatoes, goat cheese, a handful of walnuts and a few slices of pear—and ate it with the roasted veggies mixed in, on top. Alex opened a tall bottle of a crisp, Belgian-style beer made in Westport, and we ate upstairs, watching Downton Abbey, on the couch. 

It was very much a fall night. There will still be plenty of t-shirts and quick swims and even a few more dinners on the deck, but things are slowing down. It's time for sweaters and roasts and quiet nights at the restaurant, and I am ready.

Happy fall, everyone.


Does this count as a recipe? All I can say is that we roast a lot of veggie combos, and this one stands out. Cauliflower and sweet potato have similar cooking times, which means the potatoes are soft by the time the cauliflower crisps up. Carrots make a nice substitute if you don't have any sweet potatoes in the house.

3 medium onions (a mix of red and yellow is nice), peeled and diced
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped
olive oil or lard or butter or whatever cooking fat you like the flavor of
sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the onions, potatoes, and cauliflower together in a large baking dish. Add a generous glug of olive oil or whatever other fat you decide to use, and mix to coat. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and crisp and golden in some spots. Serve hot.


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