After just over a week of travels, Ned and I have returned to our favorite place–home. We managed to make it out of Denver on the last westbound Amtrak train to leave Colorado before the railroad strike and arrived at the smoky-gray bowl that is northern Nevada on Wednesday morning. While we were in Colorado, there was a full day of drizzly rain followed by the beginning of fall. My friend Tobi observed that the sun had a different feel, heat with a cool finish, that marked a transition in the seasons. I am looking forward to the shift, but first I plan to enjoy the finest evening in northern Nevada - the third Saturday in September.
Since moving to Fallon, the third Saturday in September has meant exactly one thing to me, the Fallon Youth Club fundraising dinner. Every year, this event is celebrated in stages. On Friday evening, the tents go up in the parking lot of The Slanted Porch; lights are hung, tables are placed, and chairs are stacked. Typically, there is at least one quiet moment where I sip a beer and reflect on how pretty it all looks, all the while anticipating the party that is to come. Saturday morning starts early: emptying chairs out of the dining room, setting up silent auction items, and preparing to check in all of the guests. The night ends late with feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment, also sore cheeks from all of the smiling and laughing. If you have never been, I recommend you attend the party at least one time. Tickets are still available through the youth club.
Attending the youth club fundraising dinner will help you get past the conundrum that I am experiencing at the moment of deciding what to make for dinner. It’s still a little too hot to launch into fall cooking and pots of stew slowly bubbling on the stove; tough cuts of meat turning into god’s butter after a long warm bath in the oven or butter and cream and all of the fats nourishing our bodies and souls as we prepare for the winter respite. Those days are coming, they are right around the corner. But for now, here is a recipe celebrating the latest in-season veggie harvested at Lattin Farms.
Apple & Sausage Stuffed Honeynut Squash
3 whole honeynut squash, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch sea salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Andouille sausages, diced
1 whole Honeycrisp apple, cubed
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp each oregano, sage, garlic herb
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
- Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees
- Wash the skin of the squash and towel dry. Cut in half the lengthwise. Remove the seeds and clean the cavity well. Brush the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh rosemary. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered
- Meanwhile, heat oil in cast iron. Add onion and sauté until softened, add garlic and cook for 2-5 minutes. Add sausage, apple, celery, and sauté on medium heat for 15 minutes or until apple is soft and sausage starts to turn golden brown. Add dried cranberries and season with salt, pepper, oregano, sage, and garlic.
- Remove squash from oven and fill the cavity with sausage apple mix then top with shredded cheese. Return to the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden. Top with fresh rosemary and serve.