Gratitude, with resume and recipe

Gratitude is late this week, but ever-present. Thankful. I continue to be so thankful for kindness and encouragement from my family and friends.

I’m thankful for good times with our oldest son and his girlfriend.

I’m thankful for some opportunities that have come my way, which is why I’m working on my resume.

I’m thankful for poetry and the chance to go to (and read at–and listen to) two events last week, which included prose (essay, fiction)–a well-rounded reading diet. Tonight, another reading.

I’m thankful for a visit from my brother-in-law, who came up to see the football game. And I’m thankful for the best damn half-time show ever. Imagine high school dance teams from the area joining the Sea Gals, bright pink pom-poms everywhere. (One team danced in their bare feet and did double pirouettes! One team had guys on it!) Now envision them forming a giant ribbon shape, moving their pink pom-poms in a wave as a line of breast cancer survivors walked in from each end of the field. I cried. I clapped and cried. It was great. I’m thankful for the attention that is, I hope, reducing the isolation (and increasing the research) of cancer.

I’m thankful for a big family dinner–an early send-off for our younger son. I’m thankful we could get everyone together–sons, daughter, girlfriend, boyfriend, parents, sister and sister-in law. So wonderful to see everyone. We kept it simple–salad and baked penne. But for the gluten-free crowd, I made a butternut squash version:

1 small butternut squash, peeled, scooped, and cut into cubes
2 hot Italian sausages
Olive oil
1 small onion, or half a larger one, diced
Salt and pepper
1 large clove garlic
1 sprig rosemary, minced
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups spinach leaves (if you’re using packaged spinach, it’s about a third of a 10-oz. package)
3 oz. mozzarella, cubed
3 oz. fontina, cubed
1/2 cup parmesan, grated

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
On a baking sheet (I line it with foil), toss the squash with about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the sausages from their casings and brown them in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, breaking them into bite-size pieces.
Add the onion. When the onion is clear, season with salt and pepper, and add the rosemary. Stir for a couple of minutes and then add the tomatoes. Turn the heat down and let it simmer a few minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the spinach, mozzarella, fontina, squash, the tomato sauce and 1/4 cup parmesan. Pour into a lightly-oiled 8×8-inch pan. Sprinkle the rest of the parm on top, and bake for 30 minutes.

Good enough I wanted to share.

Open the door. Open my heart.