As much as I love being outdoors, there lives deep inside me, a city slicker. Fortunately for me, Rochester seems like just the right balance of urban and outdoorsy. Its a fun city to explore on foot. So many neighborhoods, each with their own distinct flavor. I've meandered through streets and alleys, in the shadows of giant buildings...
Truly, the best way to get to know a city is one step at a time. By the Eastman School of Music, the air vibrates with a kind of intensity. "Fueled by caffeine and fear".The potent alchemy of talent and hard work swirls around me. I've run by fresh faced young men in wool jackets; ambitious, broad shouldered, unscathed by life. Running past Midtown Plaza on my lunch hour, I've caught a whiff of weed on the street! Past glorious buildings, standing tall, testifying to the triumph of mind over matter. They took shape in an architect's mind, perhaps on a draughtsman's board, long before AutoDesk was a twinkle in an engineer's eye.
Soon the lotus headdress of the Times Square Building joined the Kodak Building as a landmark. How could I mistake the brightly lit triangles atop Bausch and Lomb Place... I love most things that were made in the '60s (smile) but the beauty of the Xerox Tower still eludes me. I blow silent kisses to bald dome of the planetarium. Old stately homes that once housed the genteel and upstanding are now filled with the bold and boisterous!
At my adventures' end, I stepped into the warmth of my little apartment. Finished the evening with a little acorn squash with wild rice and quinoa pilaf. Simple enough to throw together on an autumn evening, fancy enough to serve your vegetarian / health-conscious guests over the holidays.
Heres what to do:
1. Bake acorn squash in microwave (zap for 7 minutes) or oven (350 for 20 minutes). Dot with butter or brown sugar to taste (I didn't!)
2. Toast and cook a third of a cup of quinoa. Cook a third of a cup of wild rice. The ghost of sticky skillets tells us that cooking times vary for different whole grains and it is best to cook them separately.
3. In the meantime, saute garlic, fennel, red onion, carrots in a teaspoon of olive oil. Chuck in the quinoa and wild rice and stir. Add salt / crushed red pepper to taste.
4. Spoon the pilaf into the baked acorn squash. Top with fresh shaved parmesan cheese if desired (I didn't!)
In keeping with the Healthy Holdiday Food theme, this one goes to Heart of the Matter #9, hosted by the Accidental Scientist. Happy Holidays!