What’s for Dinner

Seasonal change in California is, visually, hard to note: or rather, it’s only obvious when it switches from the wet to the dry, or back again. It’s very striking when the bright skies recede into grey and rain, and the hills lose their tawny gold coat and turn green again. But we don’t get autumn like I did growing up in the Ozarks: no riotous display of fall colors on the trees, no nip of early frost. No frost at all, in fact. It feels like summer still.

But in our CSA box, autumn has clearly arrived. This week we got the season’s first butternut squash, and a big head of bok choy—I know I’ll be seeing more of that in the weeks ahead. We also got lettuce, spinach, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, green peppers, plums, nectarines, apples, and a bunch of parsley.

Tonight I’ll roast a chicken with the carrots; tomorrow night I’ll make stock from the carcass, and chicken salad sandwiches with the leftover meat; Monday we’ll have zucchini fritters and a spinach salad with fennel and apples; Tuesday I’ll put the butternut squash into a baked rice casserole; Wednesday we’ll have leftover rice casserole supplemented with a garden salad (using the lettuce and broccoli, and probably some bacon and a creamy dressing); Thursday I’ll use the bok choy in a pot of hot and sour soup; and Friday, grilled sausages with peppers and onions.

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