Thursday, October 30, 2008

My first rainy night in California

This may seem kinda weird, but it hasn't rained once in the four and a half months that I've been in California. The weather has been absolutely glorious, but those who have been here longer warn me that it won't last forever. This weekend, apparently, will be the breaking point.

All day it's been gloomy, chilly, and a bit depressing. Wind whips through the small canyon that my apartment overlooks, and I've been contemplating the heater. Luckily, the menu planned for the evening couldn't be more perfect.

The World's Best Boyfriend recently signed up for a fruit and vegetable delivery service here in the Bay Area called Planet Organics. As often as you deem (he does it bi-weekly), they deliver a stash of seasonal fruits and veggies, as well as fresh milk, cheese, and eggs to your doorstep while you are at work. In addition to being convenient, it's a great way to force yourself to try new foods that you might not pick up at the market
of your own volition. Two weeks ago, for instance, we learned all about rainbow chard. This week - persimmons.

So this morning I decided to confiscate the lovely little butternut squash that arrived earlier this week and use it to make Ina's Butternut Squash Risotto for dinner tonight. I made it a few weeks ago to great boyfriend acclaim, so a repeat performance was definitely in the cards. The sweetness of the squash against the saltiness of the pancetta and cheese is decadent and satisfying, and the creamy, filling starchiness of the risotto is absolutely the perfect antidote for the day.

Coincidentally (or was it?), today I was sampling out the perfect wine for the meal. One of the gems of my company's portfolio is the Poderi la Cappella Chianti Classico 2003. A tiny production made by a father-daughter duo, this winery uses the transcendent Luca d'Attoma as their consultant. His wines are always amazing (even in publicly challenging vintages), and this Chianti is no different. 90% sangiovese, 10% merlot, it absolutely oozes elegance. The balance between fruit and acidity is spot on, and it is the perfect weight to pair with the risotto.

What's for dessert on this glorious, autumnal evening, you ask? Thinly sliced persimmon chips sprinkled and cinnamon and baked until crisp.

And each other, of course.


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