The song that speaks to the seasons of my life (Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onions)

recipe Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onions

“Well, I’ve been afraid of changing …”

When the soulful chords of “Landslide,” play through my headphones, I’m wistful. As music can, this is a song that speaks to me, reminding me of so many seasons of my life.

Many years ago, on a cool fall evening, a friend and I were headed somewhere in the car and he put on the song “Landslide.” I can’t remember what version it was — maybe Stevie Nicks’ solo version? Maybe Jewel’s? It wasn’t the Fleetwood Mac version or the Smashing Pumpkins, I know that. It doesn’t matter. I knew the song, and said as much. But that time, listening to it was different.

“Listen. I mean really listen to the lyrics,” he said. And I did. I listened closely to the words, to the meaning.

“… Can I handle the seasons of my life?”

There was something haunting about how the lyrics spoke to the transitional time I was in. Young and uncertain, life felt like it was on a single track. In retrospect, I kne w that it was wide open with so many possibilities though.

“… So I take this love and I take it down. Yea, and if you climb a mountain and you turn around and if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills …”

In some strange way, the song gave me a sense of comfort. Like I wasn’t alone.

Over the years, I’ve come back to this song again and again. And at different stages, it’s meant different things to me. While it reminded me that life was a wide open road back then, later it spoke to me of the precipitous place where I was perched, making big decisions for my happiness and the happiness of my kids. And now, in a happier place in my life, it’s reflective … of those hard times and the challenges I overcame to get here.

Music is a wonderful gift. It’s the soundtrack of our lives, and has the power to remind us, excite us and motivate us. I’m so glad I listened that day, so many years ago …

Butternut Squash

Likewise, food can tie into our life experience too, conjuring memories and reminding us of times past. Butternut squash does that for me. It reminds me of my first year cooking for Thanksgiving. I tried so hard to make something everyone would enjoy — and ended up making a casserole with butternut squash that was one of the worst things I have ever made or eaten. I’d never had butternut squash before, but I was told it was a “must-have.” I’d worked so hard to get it right, but it just wasn’t.

There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

But over the years, I’ve come to love this winter squash with its rich, orange flesh. On salads, in soups and with pastas, it can be a delicious, slightly sweet addition to meals.

This recipe — Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onions — is just how I like vegetables. It’s simple and easy, but cooked slowly and carefully to allow the flavors to develop.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onions

 

This is a dish that can be served as a side dish. Or put it over rice with some grilled chicken for an easy dinner. Or top salads with it. Or tuck it into a wrap with other veggies and perhaps some chicken and blue cheese.

The possibilities are endless. With a good, tasty, simple dish like this, you can’t go wrong.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onions recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onions
Author: 
Serves: serves 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2 small red onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the butternut squash cubes over the baking sheet. Disperse the red onions throughout. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, and then stir. Roast for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until beginning to brown.

 

Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News, and resident cook. She writes a cooking column, Maine Course, and is also author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains." Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, Glamour.com and more.