October 9, 2009

A Fall Meal

The recent cold weather has caused me to fire up the woodstove to warm the house. I have a cookstove with an oven and plenty of stovetop for cooking, and though the firebox is small, the stove manages to keep the house warm during all but the most bitterly cold weather. When the stove is going, I often roast vegetables in its oven; last night was the inaugural baking of the small winter squash Sweet Dumpling. This is a delicious one or two serving squash that has a rich sweet flavor and creamy texture, with none of the cloying sweetness of Delicata, a winter squash of similar color to Dumpling. To roast the squash, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, oil the cut sides and place them face down on a baking pan. Then roast at 400º till done.

To complete my meal, I picked some brussels sprouts, which I steamed, then added a bit of butter. Both these vegetables have such wonderful flavor that they don't need much enhancement. Eating these seasonal foods, cooked on the woodstove, is an almost ceremonial entrance into a new season, pointing to more changes ahead.


  1. This meal looks incredibly appeteizing - simple and delicious. Do you add anything to the squash? I can almost smell wood smoke in the background and hear the leaves crunching outside!

  2. I don't add a thing to the squash, just scoop it out. It really doesn't need anything. I have a couple of recipes for squash in which I add a couple of ingredients, ginger or dried chilies; I use those for the larger winter squashes and will share the recipes later in the season.