A small rectangle of intense light begins to flash. A few bars of music called “Eurotrance” plays. Stops. Plays again louder. Then again, even louder.
Ah. It’s the dulcet tones of the Alarmberry, telling us it’s time to get out of bed. In 30 minutes, our friend Harold will be at the front door, his little red pickup truck shining up the dregs of night.
I watch as Harold and Buck walk out into the woods, their camoflauge disappearing into the trees, a seasonal ritual from their youth. Harold will be back about 8:30, eager to slip off his boots, take a seat at the kitchen bar, drink coffee and tell me stories while we wait for Buck to return.
Time for me to put on the coffee, cut a slice of my traditional Thanksgiving Day breakfast, pecan pie so sweet it can make your teeth hurt. The caffeine and sugar jolt me wide awake and ready to chop up those sweet little yellow squashes into a pot of boiling water.
These were near the bottom of the bushel basket at Bailey’s Farmer’s Market. They’re a little bruised. Notice the one propped up by the cooking pot. It’s actually two grown together. If I could save it, I would. Anytime I find a mother and baby or two lovers cleaving together, like these squash, or tiny, fully-formed pepper fetuses inside a bell pepper, something within me clutches.
While they cook, I’ll saute’ a chopped onion, and reduce a dozen saltine crackers to crumbs with the help of an old-fashioned mortar and pestle that I’ve had for more than twenty years. Once the squashes are tender, they’ll be drained, mashed, mixed with egg, onion, cracker crumbs, salt and pepper and baked in the oven. It’s a delicate taste, nice for a Thanksgiving Day side dish, but also a wonderful stand-alone comfort food supper