On the night of September 14th, I excitedly waited at JFK for Jon to come home from covering the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan. No hope for sleep that night, I had a coffee in my hand and the soundtrack to Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again on loop in my ear. While being apart never gets easier, seeing him emerge at Arrivals and that first hug after weeks apart is one of my favorite feelings in the world.
A week later, we got to celebrate our reunion by shaking our groove thang at the most beautiful of occasions, Megan and James’ wedding! I don’t know how I managed to keep it together during their intensely heartwarming vows. After sunset, we had dinner family style with Megan’s homemade infused olive oil, drank dark n’ stormies, and danced like the world was ending. It was a long gorgeous day filled with love and laughter, beads and bobby pins. A long and gorgeous day we’ll never forget.
As if by magic, the next day the temperatures dipped. Fall arrived overnight and has been flying by ever since. Our Brooklyn Grange CSA season came to a close and we had a potluck at the farm. When we went around the table naming our favorite vegetables, I froze and honestly still haven’t come up with an answer. I think I eventually said eggplant and gave an honorable mention to mint, my favorite herb. Eggplants were on the tip of my tongue because the potluck dish I’d brought to the table was baba ghanoush and I’d spent the afternoon breathing in their smell as they fell apart on the grill. Delicious.
One of the potluck contributions I fell in love with was a bowl of roasted carrots and baby beets finished off with butter and a touch of maple syrup. Not only did I go home and immediately make it myself that same day, but it also ended up on our table the following week for Halloween. We threw a small family party to celebrate the spookiest of occasions: Tommy’s birthday! With the music of Mamma Mia! still coursing through my veins, I got Jon to take a chance on me and dress up as members of ABBA. We put together a playlist full of ABBA, ‘70s hits, disco, and a few Halloween classics as we decorated the house and prepared a small fall feast.
We mixed up a couple of cocktails: vodka, grapefruit, and cranberry and Prosecco, sparkling cider, and pomegranate. Our meal started off with jack o’ lantern peppers filled with dips: salsa, onion dip, and whipped feta, served with cucumbers, peppers, and our final farm radishes.
Then, on to the main course…
Our autumnal magic menu was grilled flank steak, a big pot of spicy black beans, pan-roasted brussels sprouts, the aforementioned mouth-watering maple butter carrots and beets, oven-roasted broccoli and butternut squash with garlic butter and Parmesan, and a green salad. Along with birthday cake and other required sweetness, Tommy brought us some truly ghoulish desserts befitting the holiday. I’ll spare you the pictures since they’d haunt your dreams.
After that spooky and disco fabulous night enjoyed in the company of my family, I took the week off from work. Today is my first day back from my glorious staycation, where the only promises I made to myself were to sleep until at least 9 every day and not to touch any work. On these counts, I succeeded! But beyond that, I handled some personal business: check-ups, closet organization, some early(ish) Christmas planning, and of course, self-care in the form of lots and lots of TV. We went with Malvina to Tommy and Emily’s on Halloween night for some more sinister snacks, and the next night, Mom and I saw the amazing A Star is Born. To close out the week, Jon and I went out for a perfect date night on Friday: ice skating at Bryant Park, book shopping (picked up David Sedaris’s Calypso), and an amazing Japanese dinner at a restaurant he found called Yopparai. I tasted my first squid sashimi followed by butakushi, a skewer of barbecued fatty pork belly, and they were both so incredible I almost cried.
Thank you, my love, for being a super trouper. I am so excited for what the rest of this season and the coming year have in store for us.