SFMF: The Reclaim

Welcome back, gra! And welcome back, fall. The time for gourds and tubers and hardy greens is upon us once more.

It may not be news to some of you that our dearest Ms. Klein has recently undergone a bit of a shift. Whether you’re employed or between gigs, it can sometimes be rough going these days, and in this post, Kristy talks about sailing through it with grace, wit, and some kitchen therapy.

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect, and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” -Anna Quindlen

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Maybe you can pull it off when the lemon is that the Clark bus (#22, you are a hoor) is refusing to scoop you up or that you wanted one of those buffalo blue cheese chicken burgers but your favorite Whole Paycheck meat-dude informs you that they are out. But there are times when life rocks you too hard. When you are so completely and utterly blindsided by an event that you feel like you don’t even know who you are anymore, and you begin to question whether or not you are the person you pictured yourself to be. You spend a day or a week or a month in a complete tailspin, irritated that the world continues to turn. Slowly, though, you realize that you have to pick up the pieces and turn along with it.

And suddenly – in the midst of tears, and laughing and phone calls – you have a moment where you begin to realize that everything really is okay. That you have a beautiful crowd of true friends and family who will go to the end of the earth to stand behind you. That breathtakingly gorgeous things are happening in the world around you (xoxo, baby Ethan!). That (in my case) you have a partner who loves you, believes in you and needs you more than you ever realized or expected. And… that you. Are. Happy. That you are lucky. That you are not the person you pictured yourself to be; that you are, in fact, better and stronger and more loved than that person. You look inside yourself and begin to see the things that really define who you are and who you want to be.
There is something about the transition from summer to fall that is comforting to me… especially this year. The return of Frye boots, big cozy sweaters and mulled apple cider. The visual confirmation that the world is moving forward and that I am moving forward along with it. A steaming bowl full of fresh fall flavors… and a big, dumb golden retriever sitting and licking my feet while I eat it. Life is good. And I am happy.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Fennel, Apples and Walnuts

adapted from Real Simple Magazine (October 2009)
2 servings

– 1 package of Whole Foods Butternut Squash Ravioli

– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 small fennel bulb, diced
– 1/4 cup (heaping) chopped walnuts
– 1 medium apple (a sweet variety) cut into matchsticks
– 1/4 cup fresh, flatleaf parsley, chopped
– salt and pepper
– freshly grated parmesan
– cracked red pepper

Cook the ravioli (al dente) according to package directions.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the fennel and the walnuts and cook until fennel is soft and walnuts are fragrant- about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the apples, parsley, salt and pepper (about 1/4 tsp of each). Toss to mix.

Split the ravioli into two bowls and top with the apple mixture. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and a touch of cracked red pepper.

Comments

  1. Sweeeet — Jen & I were thinking of making that _Real Simple_ recipe too! How did the fennel turn out alongside the butternut squash ravioli filling?

  2. I don’t think it would have been nearly as good without the fennel. Butternut squash ravioli is one of my ultimate favs but I worried that coupling it with the apple would make the entire dish too sweet. The fennel really grounded everything turning the dish into a warm bowl of happiness. 🙂 I should write into Real Simple and make the suggestion.

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