There's something about oven meals at this time of year - they're as cozy and comforting as Merino wool. But a meal that mostly originated in the front yard - buttercup squash and Keuka Gold potatoes - roasted to perfection is enough to warm the soul.
Until my husband, Kevin, calmly remarks: "I smell something."
And I realize the intoxicating aroma has morphed.
Our oven has a safety feature to prevent fires: It locks when a sensor deems it wise and forces a cool-down period. It apparently kicked in tonight and turned our dinner to char.
Thirty minutes later, once we could finally open the door, we found a toasted squash and nearly cremated potatoes - as well as a cracked stone pan that had allowed caramelized squash juice to drip to the oven floor and trip the sensor.
Our comfort meal will have to wait.
It'll be days before the house smells appetizing again.