Dinners in The Mothership

The kitchen of my childhood home in Keene, NH is my mothership. It is the center of the house and the center of my life when I am home. Even though here are three perfectly comfortable living rooms in the house most of everyone’s waking time is spent in the kitchen. On Monday my two sisters and I all made our returns to the mothership to recharge our alien selves and help prepare for our Thanksgiving festivities. Our mother could not be happier to have everyone safe in the mothership together again, and she’s been cooking up (with a little help) some fantastic dinners. Monday night we had a rich lamb stew, roasted potatoes and butternut squash, a salad topped with French lentils and feta cheese, and a warm apple-cranberry crisp for dessert.

Tonight we had gluten-free pasta with a spur of the moment concoction tomato-cream-pesto sauce tossed with roasted butternut squash, red peppers, olives, and fresh mozzarella.

After dinner we sipped Godiva Liqueur (which Mums confessed to feeling embarrassed about buying but which tasted delicious) while we planned our Thanksgiving menu and grocery lists.

She found the most perfect butternut squash,
which she roasted in preparation for a creamy butternut squash and apple soup for Thursday,

while Marta and I sampled the champagne that we were cooking into our cranberry sauce.

Cranberry Sauce with Currants and Champagne
(makes enough for 18 we hope) 

24 ounces fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups Champagne, or other sparkling wine

Pour the champagne into a medium pot and add the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the cranberries and currents, bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the cranberries have lost their shape and the excess liquid has boiled down, about 20 minutes.