I love cooking for people, but tonight, I was able to take that joy to a whole other level. Tonight's meal was cooked mostly with ingredients that we grew this season in our own backyard. I love cooking that starts with going into the yard and digging up what's growing there. The salad was one hundred percent from the garden: late crop lettuce, carrots, and cucumbers, as well as the last fruits from the tomato plants that have been prolific this season. The main dish was a vegetable risotto with turnips, butternut squash, acorn squash, carrots and sage grown here at home. The weather turned hard this week into fall closing the door on summer, but this meal (topped off with mint and bee balm tea to accompany dessert) reminded me how generous the land was to us this summer thanks to compost from the Minnesota Zoo, diligent watering during a drought (though not so diligent weeding) and an adventurous spirit for planting late into the season. So long, summer 2009. Thank you for your deliciousness!