I had every intention of posting a picture on Match.com. Really I did. Then I looked at the pictures my daughter took of me yesterday when I was feeling brave, with a blow dryer and mascara wand standing by, and I have to tell you, it sobered me right up.
I’m living a happy delusion that I still look like I did when I was 40. How is this possible? I simply take off my glasses when I look in the mirror. I actually tried contacts for a while and it was just too much realism for me. I much prefer to walk out into the world believing what my non-spectacled eyes tell me — that I’m kind of fuzzy, like a Van Gogh painting. Contacts are like high resolution TV — who needs them?
I still feel like a teenager, and probably act like one too, but if photography in broad daylight is to be believed, my body has joined forces with the dark side. And I am SO not saying this so you’ll write nice things about me, I really mean this. Aging is hard on women in our stupid, youth-obsessed society. Especially when you used to feel kind of cute on good days, and have finally gotten up the nerve to put yourself out there again. Last time I did this I was in my 30’s!
But there is a small part of me saying, “Oh, who gives a shit? So, what if you’re not perfect, you’re fine. Just do it!”
So, hopefully you’ll be proud of me, because as I was writing this, I felt so guilty for saying I’d post photos then chickening out, that I actually posted three. So there. I guess I’m not a big, fat liar after all.
But enough about all that dating crap, what I really want to talk about is a fantastic squash recipe I tried this week!
I subscribe to Williams Sonona Taste, William Sonona’s website. They send out an an email a few times a week with recipes, and this week’s was fantastic! It was roasted pumpkin, garlic, sweet potatoes and cherry tomatoes. I made it without the cherry tomatoes and it was amazing. So, I’m re-posting the recipe because you have to try it. It’s perfect for fall, which (if we’re lucky) will come some time in January here in Southern California. I’m trying to channel it by decorating for Halloween.
The roasted garlic sent me completely out of my mind, it was so good with the roasted onions, squash and sweet potatoes. If you make this and don’t love it, I will personally come to your home and eat it all for you. We made some quinoa and sauteed it with garlic then served the squash mixture over it and it was utterly wonderful!
1 small sugar pumpkin or other winter squash (I used butternut squash)
2 sweet potatoes
2 red onions (I used brown onions and they were great)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes (I didn’t use these, but they would probably be good. You have to wait to add them at the very end of roasting – read the whole recipe through first!)
2⁄3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) olive oil (seemed like a lot, but what it did to the veggies was miraculous)
5 fresh thyme sprigs (I didn’t have fresh, so I used dried – but I’ll bet fresh rocks)
1 head garlic, halved crosswise (I did two because I am a ho for garlic)
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. maple syrup (I used an extra tsp. of syrup and you could still hardly taste it)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut the pumpkin into quarters and remove and discard the pulp and seeds. (Alternatively, rinse and roast the seeds separately and use to garnish the dish later.) (I roasted mine then we ate them like pigs and never got around to the garnishing part.) Cut each pumpkin quarter into 3 wedges. Quarter the sweet potatoes lengthwise. Peel the onions and cut into wedges. Cut the garlic head in half so you cut each clove in half.
Place the pumpkin, sweet potatoes, garlic and onions in a large mixing bowl. Mix together the oil, thyme, lemon juice, maple syrup, 1 tsp. salt and 1⁄2 tsp. pepper. Toss to mix well, then spread in a large roasting pan. Roast until the vegetables are cooked through and golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Add the tomatoes to the roasting pan, toss to coat with olive oil and return the roasting pan to the oven until the tomatoes just begin to soften and release their juices, about 15 minutes more. Sprinkle with additional salt and serve directly from the pan. Serves 4.
Next week, I’ll give you my roasted butternut squash soup recipe – unless I’m too busy dating hot guys.