It was dark all day today; the clouds never parted and the rain only stopped for breaths of wind to channel down through the valley. In our pyjamas and morning sleepiness, we dallied into the afternoon as breakfast stretched into lunch, lunch into dinner.
It was a nice day, I can't deny that, but now as the light fades and the fire burns brightly, I feel winter is right there, standing on the doorstep prying to wash over us again, snow, frost, and all.
I'm coming. I'm coming.
It seems to whisper as if beckoning, enticing.
Good thing I've got my nice warm coat, my dashing red, woolly headband, and my thick Roots socks to keep me warm as I venture through the trees with my dog. Good thing for my hot bean bag at night as I curl into a deep sleep. And thank goodness for the kettle, fuelling me, pushing me through, with each cup of tea.
The first Christmas craft fair of the year was held today, just a short walk down from my house, and I could see the abundance of cars lined up in the parking lot outside the building, in neat rows like received Christmas cards will start to be; one will say
Next to another that chimes Silent Night from a small box in the centre of the card. There will be no surfaces available again this year. No longer a perch for Saturday afternoon phone calls, the window sill becomes a home for the cards each winter, and the cat jealously eyes their beneficial location, her usual kaleidoscope to the world she no longer escapes to - her bed by the fire, for some reason, is much more enticing.
I couldn't bring myself to shop Christmas already, and the people exiting with baskets of goodies, soaps with names like Gingerbread and ornaments made from shells and driftwood, donned in their handmade knitted scarves, for once didn't make me envious. I wasn't ready for the sound of Christmas carols to be blasted from a speaker made in the seventies, causing the singer's voice to waver over high notes that couldn't be interpreted properly by such ageing technology. No, today I was still enjoying autumn, playing in the leaves and baking throughout the day; cookies in the morning - gluten-free chocolate chip - and blissful brownies in the afternoon.
My friend from Northern B.C. came down last weekend, for Remembrance holiday, and as we shopped downtown, milling about the shops and going for lunch at the gallery, I noticed the amounts of Christmas stock in store front windows, the gift packages in cosmetic and soap shops that lined the shelves and overflowed onto the floor, and the largest display, an ornamental Christmas tree in The Bay with decorations of yellow and gold throughout store aisles - tinsel, candy canes and baubles.
We even saw snow that weekend.
It was on our way into town that morning, and as both of us sat snuggled on the ferry, angling ourselves away from the slight draft coming from the door, my mum texted me with exclamation and excitement in her words,
"Look outside! It's snowing!"
We peered up from inside our scarves and could barely just make out the flittering of glimmering white specs across the sky, almost invisible against the white of the clouds and through the gleam of the windows. And it certainly felt cold enough today, as we headed out the door only to return for more layers, for a light dusting of snow on the ground, or even to be woken up in the brisk air as frost covers tomorrow's morning.
Sadly, it's forecasted to rain all week. My gumboots and umbrella will remain perched beside the front door, a dim reminder of the weather outside, even as I comfortably remain in the kitchen with the fire blazing and the oven baking something wonderful.
"Today doesn't look so good, maybe I'll just stay in, warm,"
I tell myself, until mum and dad drag me out of the house, earnestly stating how much I will enjoy getting out once I've had some air, as if I were the one on the leash, and not the dog. But I always feel so much better after, they're right, and especially after the heat and dryness of indoors for so long, that begins to make you feel cooped up, even if it does seem so cozy.
So finally, even after having this family favourite numerous times, we like it for lunch on the weekend, I have found the time when other recipes haven't bombarded me to post about them (who knew that could happen) and finally sat down to post about Yam Tuna Bakes. Tuna bakes have always been a delectable comfort food, although when I became gluten-free it was time to put a twist on the old bread base, and it also gave me an opportunity to find something tastier.
Oh the delight of finding pleasure in old comforts.
|Even in the morning, yam tuna bake holds a high rank. |
(A message received from my sister).
Yam Tuna Bake
For rainy days, for family picnics or gatherings, I'd whip up this old favourite any day. A comforting twist on a pantry staple, yam adds lots of healthy nutrients and enjoyable flavour. It can be made ahead of time by putting the yam in the oven at 450 F for about an hour, halved and scored, or for a faster method can be microwaved until tender for few minutes. Either way, the flavour will remain.
Don't be burdened by the ingredients in the recipe either, if you haven't got something, just incorporate the vegetables that you do have, and save a little time (and money) by skipping that extra dash to the grocery store. Besides, it'll probably be busy and just take too long anyway.
When choosing yams for this recipe, I usually go for the oddly shaped ones that end up neglected at the bottom of the baskets in grocery stores. For some reason, I just love their shapes and the interesting knobs in the skin, there isn't anything wrong with them, they're just different. And for that, should be loved like any other.
1 large cooked yam, sectioned into equal parts
1 can albacore tuna
1-2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 tomato, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional for a spicier taste
1/2-3/4 c grated mozzarella
Set the oven to broil, or preheat to 500 F, and set the sections of yam on a baking sheet. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the drained tuna, mayonnaise, vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Add cayenne if desired. Stir to combine completely.
Spoon the tuna mixture in equal amounts onto the yam halves, and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Place the baking tray under the broiler and cook for about 5 minutes, until cheese begins to bubble but not so much that it browns.
Remove, and cool before serving.
Labels: cayenne, dinner, lunch, oven, quick, tuna, tuna bake, vegetables, yam