Curried sweet autumn

I took a couple of pictures of this simple dish, which tells me I must have wanted to save the recipe. That's the stubbornly backward logic I've been using lately. It's like a string around a finger jogging the memory to check the fridge for a sticky note with directions. My head is clogged again. This month has been busy, and I'm usually tired. Happy tired, but still tired.  

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A friend--several friends, really--and I have been working on making time for stillness in each day. We all need to do this, whether we know it or not, and it's hard. Nearly impossible in  the task-oriented rhythm of today. It's too easy to go into list mode, reflexively injecting small, just manageable doses of stress, into moments of openness when we could just breathe.

In actuality, though, I did want to remember this recipe, and mostly because it's so easy, and clean. It makes me think of the multi-faceted beauty of autumn. So powerful and robust in its glorious colors; so sweet and whimsical in its flavors. It's a strong, fleeting dance. I won't pretend this quick curry lives up to all that.  But it's good, and forgiving, and versatile, plus hearty enough to be satisfying, light enough to give the go ahead to a more memorable, seasonal signature, like apple pie.

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This is a curry, really, but curried sweet autumn makes so much more sense, since it'snot the seasoning that makes for the sweetness but what's seasonal. The best part of it is, anything goes--I had a plan (I'm listing), but what transpired for preparation was slapdash at best. Which was fine, because it's easygoing nature gave me time to breathe, and be still; and then enjoy family time that was all the better for it. Here you go...what I planned to do, what I did do. What you will do will be even better.

Sweet autumn curry

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (planned, didn't use)
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cooking apples, chopped (planned to peel...didn't peel)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (generous shake was about a tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (was a generous shake ground ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (was a good shake)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (short shake)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (threw in a couple of handfuls)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste (light sprinkle of each)

What I did: Put everything in the pot, mixed well, brought to boil, covered and simmered for what ended up being about a half hour. Or, you could:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion for 4-5 minutes until golden.
  2. Add remaining vegetables and apple. Stir in the curry powder, ginger, turmeric, cumin, stock, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil, Stir,  then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender and adding raisins in last ten minutes.