Thursday, September 13, 2012

CU in September

September is the most amazingly beautiful month.  The weather is perfect.  The mornings are cool.  The moon is a shining silver sliver of brightness in the purple morning sky. The sun is shining. The afternoons and evenings are nice and warm and pleasant.  Leaves are starting to turn crimson and bright yellow.  The hydrangeas that are left have that heirloom dark mahogany tinge that says I will age gracefully and beautifully.  The sun sets with glory and might.  Pink wispy clouds salute it's departure long after it is gone for the day.

September's glory is cruel cruel joke played on those of us for whom September is one of the busiest, craziest, most stressful months of the year.  School is back in session.  24 sharpened #2 pencils, 2 boxes of tissues, 4 wide ruled notebooks, 1 ruler, 1 calculator, 4 black pens, 4 red pens and 2 pink pearl erasers.  Lunches to be made. Kids to wake and dress. Soccer stuff for practice after school.  Did you remember that you have gym today? Please let me know about your child in one million words or less. Lunch money. Tuition payment past due. Pick a book for the first book report.  Volunteer to work the bake sale, the auction, the book sale, the wreath sale, the flower sale and drive for field trips.  Soccer on Saturday times two different games two different times and two different fields.  Band practice and choir rehearsal.

These days are so busy that fast food comes back into the rotation - sorry about that fast food nation and weight of the nation and all you people experiencing omnivore's dilemma.  What else are you going to do on the way home from the second soccer practice of the day 4th of the week when you have 15 minutes to get over to the mandatory "Back to School Night" presentation - an hour of chatter followed by 20 minute intervals of classroom teacher presentations ending with buzzers signaling "next class"...

  What do I really long for when I see the wispy red streaks of the sunset in the sky - butternut squash, pumpkin, ripe heirloom tomato on toasted whole wheat baguette with a spattering of mayo and big thick sliced smoky is one that is fast and easy and screams fall comfort without taking all of the precious 60 minutes I have to plan shop and execute dinner:

From Better Homes and Gardens October 2011...

"Harvest Chili"

1 + 1/2 lbs cooked chicken apple sausage links
large red onion ( I use a sweet wala wala)
2 cloves garlic
1 large butternut squash peeled seeded and cut into 3/4 inch slices ( Or if you have the aforementioned kid and school schedule plus a 40 hour per week outside of the home job - you can get bags of cut and ready to go BNS ((Butternut squash)) at Trader Joe's
2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 cayenne pepper
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
3 granny smith apples cored peeled and cut as the butternut squash is small 3/4 inch chunks
1 can pinto beans (can use pinto beans in chili sauce)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage

In large pot heat EVOO and sausage (if not already cooked) and cook through.  Remove sausage and add onion and garlic to the pot and cook until soft 2-3 minutes.  Add squash stirring and cook about 5minutes more. Stir in the chili powder, salt cayenne pepper, and sage and cook for another 1-2 minutes  Add broth and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered for 8 minutes.   Add apples, beans and sausage and simmer 3-4 more minutes.  Serve chili over creamy polenta with a garnish of fresh apples sliced thin.