Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Then.........and Now!

I'm not saying life has returned to normal. After all is there really a 'normal' when everything can change so suddenly?  Days come and go and every one is different. My virtual visit of the last 12 days to the UK is over. It was completely different from my real in-person visit back in June. Arriving home the week after the Platinum Jubilee was somewhat sad as we missed the celebration - but of course much quieter. I think now what if we had planned to visit during the recent two weeks, how would that have impacted our time. . . . . . I doubt it would have been a vacation.

Growing up in a family who loved and respected Queen Elizabeth II and the monarchy, losing her, no matter when, was always going to be a day of grief for me despite being so far away from home. You may think it audacious of me to still call England 'home' having been gone almost 60 years, but it is and always will be. I can't ever change that.

So now I'm moving on and planning Autumn days and some travel come October. Decorating the cottage is low key, no over the top pumpkin displays outside but perhaps a large pot of bright chrysanthemums to take the place of the fading canna lily. Indoors I've a vignette on the dining room table, small white pumpkins on the mantel. A few more wait in the wings to go on the front porch once the 90F days leave - please let that be soon!

Butternut squash, often said to be the 'favorite squash' of many, is always a pleasure to cook with. Sometimes though, when the local growing season is long over and the squash are not so good in the grocery stores, I think back to these, just harvested from the field, tender to cut, quick to cook, and so very flavorsome as a bowl of soup or a savory roast. I was thrilled when I found these at the pumpkin farm on Saturday. Yesterday I stocked up with fresh carrots, parsnips and ginger -
so I'm heading to the kitchen now where I'll get cracking on something tasty for supper. Also bought two roasting pumpkins. . . . . . more on preparing them another time as they will stay fresh for quite a while.


  1. I'm having a hard time picking up normal life once again, too, Mary, and I can only imagine how much more you are feeling the change and the loss, with your heritage. I hope things start cooling down for you soon - nights are quite cool these days here, with hot sunny afternoons (although never as hot as you experience). This season of fresh produce is always inspiring as I think about what to cook. Hugs,

  2. ......and you make a delicious butternut squash soup Lorrie! I made mine this afternoon and can't wait to eat - also baked an apple, plum, raspberry galette which looks pretty waiting on the countertop. Only really have dessert when serving a soup or salad - skip the main and the calories!!!!

  3. My mother's favorite squash was the green one there—buttercup, I believe. I, on the other hand, pass on all squash, unless baked up in a pie or tea bread. Aren't I spoiled?

    I can certainly understand that you are feeling "off." I imagine most of the UK and the various commonwealths are feeling the same way. Queen Elizabeth was certainly a constant for so many for so long. So be easy with yourself and enjoy making something delicious with ginger no less.

  4. O.K. and I are leaving the hotel where we have spent the last six nights today, and back in my kitchen, the butternut grown by O.K.‘s Mum is waiting for me to turn it into something nice. I have a creamy risotto in mind…

  5. What an elegant display of pumpkins, dear Mary. I particularly love the white ones, which I have never seen in Australia. They look so chic beside the white candlestick. I can understand you refer to the UK as home - my father was born in Australia, the year his parents came here, and he always called it home too, copying his mother :) Wish I was there to enjoy your roast pumpkins, possibly with a ginger feature. xo

  6. Dearest Mary,
    And here we are already in the FALL of 2022...
    So many things have happened and indeed, the entire world has been watching Queen Elizabeth's passing and funeral.
    It was good that the world got to see a fair share of beautiful architecture, tradition, culture, Discipline in many ways (such well trained horses and attendees in the long parade...) and the beautiful places of worship. Queen Elizabeth was close to God and a loyal, long–time servant!
    She left some marks for the history books.

  7. Yes, it has been quite the fortnight, dear Mary. As children of the Commonwealth, we too have held hands across the seas and had much to reflect upon ... Your pumpkiny welcome to autumnal dishes sounds divine - the humble butternut is oftentimes the default pumpkin around these parts for its versatility and deliciousness. Do enjoy!

  8. You inspire me to decorate and go find a pumpkin or two. There is one tiny pumpkin in the garden beginning to turn orange, but really I need a big pumpkin and some chrysanthemums.


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