Winter has truly set in to Santa Barbara. Thanksgiving week saw a few nights of frost, and the cold temperatures continue. What I was hoping would be a “cold snap” looks like it will be here for awhile. Yes, you East Coasters can laugh, but a drop into the 30’s at night is no joke, especially when our houses aren’t insulated to the nth degree like back there. Over Thanksgiving we climbed at Joshua Tree in the high desert, which was frigid at night. Fortunately it warmed up just fine for perfect climbing weather during the day, and we also did a really neat run out to Willow Hole on the Boy Scout Trail. I didn’t take a camera – although I wish I had, to capture the maze of rock we found ourselves in, which is appropriately called the “Wonderland of Rocks”. Here is a link to someone else’s adventure there, so you can see what it was like.
The garden is still going, although growing at a much slower pace with the cold. We finally fenced off all the garden beds from the chickens, so they can’t dig up all my freshly planted seeds or eat my kale anymore (which they would do with no mercy). We also caught the gopher that has been ravaging the back gardens. No more free salad bar, buster! Access to leafy greens has been key for me this year. I really believe its part of what keeps me healthy and going strong – that and lots of garlic for its antibiotic properties. Distance running can weaken the immune system temporarily, and working with kids means more exposure to the colds and germs that go around. So I do my best to eat garlic and greens every day to help my body stay healthy. Overall I think its working – and I just ran another 50k trail race successfully so I’m going to go with it!
Every once in awhile, my husband will take a few bites of dinner and then say, “wow, this is REALLY good. I mean, really really good!” And then, I have to figure out what exactly it is about that meal that he loves the taste of so much. This one really confused me – I guess because it was so easy, that I felt surely there must be something I was missing. But the squash takes on a deep, gorgeous flavor when roasted- and the beauty of delicata squash is that you don’t have to peel it. The roasted garlic also adds a sweet note which is especially delicious.
Delicata Squash Rings with Pasta
2-3 Delicata Squash, seeds scooped out and cut into 1/4-1/2″ slices
8-10 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 onion, cut into wedges
Optional: other veggies to roast (mushrooms, fennel, carrots, etc?) or sauteed greens
1/2 – 1 package capellini or other pasta (depending on people served)
Parmesan or goat cheese for topping
Optional: sausage, white beans, chicken if desired
Toss squash, garlic and onion with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes at 425. If roasting other veggies, add them in later to get the right cooking time.
While squash are roasting, prepare pasta. I tossed my pasta with roasted tomatoes and olive oil that I had, and then topped with the squash/onion/garlic (squeezed out) and some parmesan cheese. But I really think sausage, white beans, or chicken could also go great with this. And I would have roasted other vegetables if I’d had them on hand!