When my grandparents came to visit as a kid, they’d always sleep in my room. I wouldn’t let my mom take the sheets off after they left. Their smell. I wanted it to last, and the sheets seemed to hold it the longest. I’d cry when it no longer smelled like them but rather me.
My mom came a couple days after Hal was born. We needed all the help we could get. I assumed I would be a natural. But those first couple weeks, Hal and I spoke an entirely different language. My mom stood in as the translator.
I watched her walk Hal around the house soothing her while singing twinkle, twinkle little stars. Meanwhile, I did what I know best and made acorn squash risotto for dinner.
I cooked more than I should have those first couple weeks. But it made me feel normal. I was in my element. (Although I seemed to overcook and under salt everything.)
Two weeks after she arrived, my mom left to head back home. I stood in the bathroom with tears in my eyes and inhaled the last scent of her hair spray still lingering in the air. I wanted to pull out my childhood trick and replace my pillow case with hers. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye and do this motherhood thing alone.
Six weeks have passed. And we’ve somehow survived. I made an acorn squash enchilada sauce with the leftover squash from the risotto. I even managed not to under salt it. Hallie and I don’t need a translator anymore. We seem to understand each other (most days). I know her hungry cry apart from her sleepy cry. She knows when my lips part and curl at the corners that I’m smiling at her. She gladly returns it.
This is progress documented by acorn squash.
If autumn were an enchilada sauce, it would taste like this. Feel free to substitute another fall squash in place of the acorn squash.
- Add ingredients to a high-powered blender or food processor.
- Process until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add a tablespoon more of stock at a time to thin sauce if necessary.
- Pour over enchiladas. (I stuffed these with sautéed onions, kale, black beans, monterey jack, and rotisserie chicken.)
• Need acorn squash roasting instructions? Try this method and reduce roasting time to 30-40 minutes.
• If you happen to have any leftover sauce, it's great poured over a quinoa or rice bowl.