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Sometimes, when life throws you a big, round lemon, you just need to take a deep breath and squeeze out some lemonade. Or in my situation, when you’ve got a case of the autumn blues and you’re staring at a counter full of yellow squash from your parents’ overzealous garden, you make gratin.

That’s exactly what I did last week after a particularly grueling few days. Using the last of summer’s vegetables to make a decidedly autumn dish was just what the doctor ordered. Because there are some things that only a bubbly, cheesy, decadent dish can cure. And because there seemed to be no better way to help ease the transition between two seasons. As with all meals in my apartment, I relied on a fail-proof recipe, which you can find here. The only change I made was to substitute half the zucchini with yellow squash. (So daring! I know…)

The best part of this whole dish, for me anyways, is that it comes together in one skillet before being transferred to a baking dish. Can anyone really understand how wonderful one-pot meals can be until they have cooked in a kitchen the size of a shoe box? I’m guessing no.

(Most nights, I watch Charlie’s eyes glaze over as he watches the dishes slowly accumulate in the sink.)

There you have it. Maybe not the prettiest or most elegant of meals. But sometimes elegance is not the goal. After consuming half the gratin, and despite the sensation of a brick lodging itself in my stomach, I started to feel much more clearheaded.

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