My hands are orange and sore from cutting up a huge butternut squash. It's one of those bright wintry days that look really nice from inside a cosy house, but feel like a son of a bitch when the wind blows ice crystals into your face. Everything is coated with a powdery, pristine blanket of snow, so it's almost painfully bright in our living room with the wall of window. I can barely read the computer screen.
Yesterday at the drop-in centre, we served a fantastic pumpkin soup. Gingery, garlicky, smooth but not too smooth, it was delicious. Sadly, nobody knows who donated it or where I might find the recipe. So today I am attempting a butternut squash soup with the flavours I think I tasted (onion, a bit of celery and carrot, fresh ginger and garlic, and turmeric -- I'll add a bit of cream at the end I think). It's simmering now.
Last weekend I went hunting for new recipes. We've been in a bit of a cooking funk lately -- for months, really -- and I need to find new things to cook, things that don't depend on cheese and pasta, because that gets old pretty quick when you eat it four nights a week. But I realized we have a significant handicap: there are a lot of vegetables I don't like, or that I only like rarely with specific and careful preparation (that I don't know how to do). Eggplant falls into the latter category, and all the autumn vegetables fall into the former - squash, turnip, carrots by themselves, sweet potato, rutabaga, parsnips, fennel. Oh and I don't like bizarre, slippery-feeling mushrooms either. Which writes off almost all the recipes in my cookbooks that I haven't already tried. Sugar D doesn't like brussels sprouts, and I don't think lima beans don't really count as a vegetable.
Wow, that was fast -- the squash is already cooked! Apparently, butternut squash takes longer to peel and chop than it does to cook. Regardless, it smells fantastic. Now I just need to put it in the blender, which could prove hazardous since Swee'pea is napping.
Oh crap. I just tasted it - it's way too sweet. (I also hate sweet and savoury flavour combinations - probably why I hate all those root veggies.) Anyone know how to cut the sweetness? Vinegar? Salt? Add more stock to thin it out? Help!
Which was not what I was going to ask for help with. But it will do for now. Help?
Photo of the day: The Library in the Lilacs
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