Historiann had a food post the other day all about food and identity and political significance. This one doesn't have any of those things, except food.
The sun is still warm on my shoulders as I walk out to the garden, but the grass is cool, and there's a nip in the air, since it is, after all, nearly October. The shadows are getting long, too.
I reach down under the broad squash leaves and grab one of the yellow crookneck squashes that are underneath. They're a little prickly, like the leaves, but they're still warm from the sun. I give it a twist and it breaks off from the plant. The prickly parts tamp down when I touch them, but the squash is still warm.
I put the wire colander down on the ground under the tangled tomato plants and start picking. This kind of plant bears tomatoes that are tiny, like currants, and sweet--labor-intensive, but worth it. I push aside the leaves of some of the other plants and pick some different kinds: yellow, pear-shaped cherry tomatoes, orange ones, and one of the big tomatoes that's ripened over the weekend. The tomatoes are warm, too, but they don't hold the heat as the squash does. There are other varieties planted here, but the fruit on them is still a sturdy green with no hint of red. They may not ripen before the frost.
On the way back up the steps to the back door, I bend down and pinch off some basil leaves.
Inside, billows of steam are coming from the stove because the pasta is boiling. I give the contents of the wire colander a quick rinse, cut up the squash and toss it into the boiling water with the pasta for a couple of minutes, chop the basil, drain the pasta and squash, and throw everything into a bowl.