Tuesday, October 23, 2012

the world outside is, oh, so cold

We're having this crazy heat wave, it was in the mid-80s today. Given the summer we had I really shouldn't complain, but damn.

A few weeks ago it was gloriously chilly; I love autumn weather. (Not so much the leaves, anyone wanna help come rake?)

Yesterday I was chatting with Lisa on Twitter on good uses for pumpkin, especially something savory. Hello, one of my very most favorite foods ever. I start making it when there's a chill in the air, and continue until the tulips are up.

In our house this is known as "pumpkin pasta" and I'm making it as soon as Aaron gets home from Canada. (In related news, I'm willing to start renting my children out to anyone who'd like a good shot of non-hormonal birth control.)


1 pound sweet italian pork sausage (sometimes I use ground dark turkey and add a goodly amount of Baron's Specialty Foods Italian Blend - I get it at Whole Foods at the meat counter and cannot find it online; it's what my local Whole Foods uses to make their sausages in-house) (if you recall, Emery is allergic to pork, gah)

olive oil, depending on if you are using pork vs turkey vs skipping meat all together

one medium onion, small diced

2 teaspoons fennel seeds, if vegetarian

4 - 6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage

1 cup white wine (optional)

2 - 3 cups chicken or light-colored veggie stock

1 cup canned pumpkin (about two thirds of a standard can)

sprinkle of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup half'n'half

1 pound of a tube-y pasta, cooked just under al dente (we are gluten-free, this is our favorite)

parmesan, for serving

In a large skillet, add a small bit of oil (teaspoon if cooking pork; tablespoon if cooking turkey) and cook sausage on medium heat until done; remove from pan using a slotted spoon, set aside momentarily.

Drain any excess oil out of the pan, you want a little oil to coat the bottom; saute onions on medium heat (if you are making it vegetarian, use a teaspoon or two of oil and start your onions with a sprinkle of fennel and salt - gives you the sausage flavor without having the meat!). Cook onions until translucent, add garlic and a sprinkle of pepper and cook for just a moment. Pour the cup of white wine (or stock, if not using wine) into the pan and reduce the liquid to half.

Rub sage into skillet, add pumpkin and whisk as smoothly as possible. Add two-ish cups of stock and bring to a simmer; add sausage back in and continue on a low simmer for five to ten minutes stirring occasionally but never walking too far away.

Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg in, turn off heat and slowly add half'n'half until the sauce looks the color of pumpkin pie. Taste for salt and pepper, toss pasta in and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

We like to have this with a big green salad, and a healthy sprinkle of parmesan on mine please.

The boys like their sausage and pasta plain, partially because they cannot have dairy and partially because they are not fans of anything sauce-y.

Unless you count ketchup as sauce-y. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

if it wasn't for bad luck, i wouldn't have no luck at all

The past week has just been downright comical around here, between a broken dryer for days-on-end (16 days, to be exact) and then once it was broken our basement flooded. Ahem.

The cause? Oh, you know. The service guy doing something he shouldn't. Then he tried to fix it by pouring a chemical down the drain. And left without saying anything to me.

Like I said, comical.

That was last week. The plumbing is fixed. The damage is not.

I decided, since nearly everything is dirty, I might as well take this opportunity to do the great seasonal laundry shuffle. I'm nearly done. After a week. I know, comical.

Now, Aaron's talking about his upcoming three trips (two to Canada) and mixing goodness-knows-what in the kitchen to make himself feel better (lettuce smoothies with water, anyone?); Griffin has some viral coughy-lung thing that could turn into bronchitis, and Emery is puking at least three times a day. Comical.

Darwin and I are trying to keep everyone at an arm's distance. We don't want any of their germy stuff. Please and thank you.

 Yeah, this has nothing to do with the post - but look at that smile!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

makes you think all the world's a sunny day

Aaron arrived home this weekend - whew! - despite two delays and plane changes.

We did one of my very most favorite things, go to the pumpkin patch. It was chilly, very chilly, but bright and beautiful and happy. Just what we needed.

There was chickens and cows and pumpkin chuckin' and a hay maze and a patch perfectly died back for picking and tractors (lots and lots of pointing and grunting at tractors!).

After there was snacks and a long drive home (with a stop for gluten-free burgers and fries) and naps in the van.

And there was this. Lots and lots of this.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Drank a cup of coffee and she'd fold her laundry

Autumn finally arrived to Kansas. The furnace is on, slippers on are feet, cardigans pulled out and being worn.

Emery is enamoured with trucks, trains, airplanes, basically anything that goes. A helicopter was flying over when we arrived at the grocery store this morning. "MA!" Points, grunts. "MA!"

"Ah, yes. Do you hear and airplane? Oh, wait. That's a helicopter."





"MA! Ter!"

We'll consider that a win for Mister No Words.

Hopefully Aaron will get home from his trip tomorrow evening, and we can all snuggle in and have some family time together (and not contemplate raking leaves) (hopefully). Happy weekend to you!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

and so peacful until...

I'm on day nine of a broken dryer (heats, but doesn't tumble; makes a horrible mouse-squeaky-death sound). We had an appointment today to get it fixed.

At first he said he unplugged it and it's fine. But then he went ahead and checked it, the belt is about the snap and idler (I pinky-promise that's what it was called) was about to go out. He picked up the parts and fixed it.

Then, of course, he discovered  part, that ties into the motor, that just idly spinning, and it's a fire hazard. Seven days to get that part in. Seven days.

Dear dryer, you are not funny. Dear warranty-holder of dryer, as you certain that's the best you could do?

I will be having a date with the laundromat soon. A date, not a double date.

(Toddlers in laundromats are no fun, I've already tried.)

Monday, October 01, 2012

Merrily, Merrily

I'm on my third - no, wait, fourth - cup of coffee.

Tomato season is about over, the boys harvested our garden. Aaron complained about the tomatillos, covered in blooms but no fruit two years in a row.

The boys are home from school, causing a ruckus with Emery. It's loud, gloriously loud. Reminding me the quiet is overrated.