Bananas. Milk. Eggs. Always more eggs.
But walking into the store and after getting Si into the cart, I saw a giant cardboard box filled with squash. Acorn, butternut, spaghetti. Organic stickers stuck to the thick skins of the tiny vegetables.
The sign said 4 for $1. Four pounds of organic winter squash for a dollar. And so my plans changed.
I made mental notes of what I could make with the squash as I pushed Si up and down the aisles. Mark and Miles were at Sunday school and church, and I had nursed Si before leaving. We could take our time.
Soup, I though. Butternut squash enchiladas. Purees for Si. Up until now, I've been giving him Gerber. I had made all of the purees for Miles but with No. 2, I decided that I didn't need another thing on my plate. For 25 cents a pound, though, I could be enticed.
Muffins. Could I make butternut squash muffins?
But soup. Definitely soup. Curry soup. Spicy southwestern soup. Butternut squash apple soup.
Apples. Apple pie. My father-in-law. His favorite dessert is apple pie.
And from there, my day, a day with no direction, took a clear turn. I steered Si toward produce and grabbed a bag of green apples. We headed toward the meat aisle for steak to make Beef Stroganoff. I grabbed iced tea.
We were going to make Papa dinner.
I enlisted Miles to help, as he is always curious in the kitchen and an enthusiastic sous chef. I peeled and chopped apples, while he "peeled" and ate apples. He added in the cinnamon, sugar and butter. I formed mini pie shells in a muffin tin. Miles filled the cups to the brim with our mixture. He painted on the egg mixture to our top layer of dough, and I pressed it on. We cut slits. And baked.
The house smelled like cinnamon. Sugar. Fall.
Outside, Mark was raking leaves. Leaves from a tree that is mysterious to us. But they crunch as you walk through the lawn.
Silas was happy to observe on the fine specimen of a fall afternoon. Warm, not hot, with still a bite in the air. The sun was bright. The trees were afire. The sky was cloudless. He smiled as he played in his exersaucer and laughed hysterically as his brother tromped through his father's handiwork toward him.
I sat, outstretched, soaking in the vitamin D. Just for a brief moment. Soup was on the stove. First round: Butternut Squash Apple Soup. A second pot had turkey sausage marinara. In the slow cooker, Beef Stroganoff was cooking.
The house felt warm. And loved.
It was the picture of a perfect fall dinner.
Save for the toddler drunk hour, sponsored by Daylight Saving Time. Miles scurried furiously around the house, from the table to the stairs to the floor to the table. First he drew then scribbled portraits of the adults. Si screeched from his Bumbo, demanding more peas.
I wished my water into vodka. When I took a sip, my shoulders slumped. Still water.
The coffee pot began to sputter, hot decaf dripping into the carafe. Vanilla ice cream rolled off the scoop and perfectly sized pies sat in the middle of white plates.
Dinner was almost over. I sipped my coffee. The perfect complement to the dessert. The day.