Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Squash and noodle gratin

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago a pumpkin gratin at a dinner party. Since then I've been waiting for the stars to align for this dish -- enough time, cold enough weather. I based this on the noodle dish I made last week.

First I peeled and thinly sliced a smallish amber cup (kubocha). I poached the slices, set them aside, and boiled some fresh linguini until just tender. Meanwhile I made the same sauce, this time grating in a little nutmeg. I also used pecorino instead of Parmesan. To give you an idea of the proportions, I had twice as much squash as noodles.

I poured a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, then layered half of the pumpkin, spread some of the sauce over, layered over that the noodles, another layer of sauce, then the last of the pumpkin, the last of the sauce, and finally some grated cheese. I baked for about 30 minutes in 400 degrees, but that's because my broiler doesn't work. If yours does, just put it under the broiler for as long as it takes the cheese on top to toast.

Eeeerrrrk, we veer into another direction without a transition; but I'm writing in the last few minutes of Jasper's nap so I have to hurry. I've been interested to see how the more aware children are of their world the more they seem to have to fear. We were at a Halloween party at my neighbor's earlier this week. Her daughter used to be a total yahoo, but at a mature 3 1/2 she is suddenly gaining self-control and decorum. Meanwhile, at the party, she had three very energetic little boys running around and she found this very upsetting. The same girl who would have joined in a year ago was now hiding out in her room.

Jasper just watched Toy Story II yesterday for the first time in almost a year and I was surprised at what he found most disturbing: the scene in which Woody gets kidnapped. He used to be unphased by this scene, but yesterday he ran out of the room to the kitchen crying. How frightening to think someone could just carry you off like that!

Because I am weak I used that scene as a threat this morning in a store. I was trying to pay for something and he kept running out of the door. I finally reminded him of what happened to Woody and that the same thing could happen to him. What a horrible moment. It worked -- he calmed down and clung close to me. But at the cost of his innocence? I feel awful for even suggesting that it could happen to him.


liz said...

that's not as bad as me telling zane to hold my hand when we are crossing the street (he tries to rip away and run free- ALWAYS) and how a car could hit him and he could die. awesome. telling my son about the horror of tragic death at age 2.

I think you are a great mom.

Anonymous said...

You crack me up! I think you and Liz are both great moms. I let Lilly do things that hurt her because she doesn't listen after I've told her a hundred times. I know that sounds awful, and I wouldn't do it with anything really dangerous--just touching the blazing hot radiator, banging her head on ______, jumping off the couch.

She cries when Cinderella's dress gets ripped and she runs into the garden. Things are A-OK once the fairy godmother shows up. I don't know who she is and where she came from. I hate princess movies. Which reminds me....I should introduce her to Toy Story because it's a preview on the Cinderella tape. Which reminds me that this comment is way too long.

You dinners look so yummy it's dangerous.

Co said...

I think it's totally reasonable to tell Jasper that he can't just run in and out of a store because he could get carried off and kidnapped. Sadly, it's true.

My parents forbade us to ride our bikes on Sloan Ave as kids, which was a highway. They told me it was too dangerous and I could get hit by a car. A neighbor named Jimmy had absentee parents. He used to ride on Sloan Ave all the time. I thought that was so cool. He died at the age of 7, after being hit by a car on his bike...riding on Sloan Ave. This was witnessed by several of my friends. I daresay, I think my parents were smart to scare me.

Adriana Velez said...

Thanks, ladies. Lindsey, I take the same approach to "learning the head-bonking way," much to the shock of my playground peers. Apparently it's just not done in Park Slope. But of course some dangers are more grave than others. I think it's actually helpful for kids to learn the difference between things that are a little painful/unpleasant and things that can cause serious injury.