The weather forecast had predicted snow for this weekend, but it turned out to be largely a beautiful sunny weekend. Cold - it was 56 in the kitchen at noon today and stayed below freezing outside all weekend - but still partly to mostly sunny! Wonderful!
While New Hampshire is a far sunnier location in winter than other places I have lived (Ohio, Syracuse, Oregon, the Czech Republic), it can sort of drag you down when it gets dark out at 4:30 in the afternoon. It becomes extremely enticing to go to bed early and cocoon yourself with blankets on the couch.
It's this time of year when I become immensely grateful for summer. Grateful for summer in December - huh? Because of the vegetable garden, I can conjure up the colors and tastes of summer even when it's cold and dark outside. As I have written before, it was a prolific year for squash, and I can take a walk to the pantry in the garage, pull out a butternut squash from the squash basket, roast it in the oven, scoop out of the inside and puree it - and voila, instant winter sunshine!
Besides its lovely cheery color, butternut squash is high in vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. This squash was exceptional - so sweet and creamy - that Adam didn't even have to add maple syrup or butter, our standard squash flavorings. (Also good are sage, browned butter, blue cheese, or brown sugar.) I took some more puree for lunch and then need to turn the rest into creamy butternut squash soup.