Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Melissa's Heart and Home

I just found this lovely blog by a Marine pilot's wife. She has a passion and a flare for decorating. Go check out her beautiful blog and enter her grand giveaway!

Squash Harvest Soup

Right up front I am going to let you know that I am not a fan of winter squash. It doesn't cause my gag reflex to kick in or anything like that. It's just if given a choice I choose no thank you. But I was reading through my favorite foodie blogs and ran across this recipe. [In Praise of Leftovers (you will find the link on the right side of this blog) is a really lovely blog, so go check it out.] When I started reading through the recipe, it actually sounded appetizing. So, I thought, what the heck. I'll give it a whirl. Even if I didn't care for it, I knew my hubby would like it. He loves squash and it's always been a big disappointment to him that I rarely prepared it.

This is not exactly the same version as hers. As we all do with recipes, we tweak them to fit our needs, tastes and personality. This has been tweaked to fit me. You can check out both recipes, and add your own tweaks. So, here we go.

Ingredients

olive oil
1 kabocha squash
2 small butternut squash
2 small delicata squash
1 large apple cut into wedges
1 onion coarsely chopped
2 large whole carrots cut into sticks
6 large cloves garlic peeled
2 tsp. curry
1 tsp. garam masala
1 TBS. sugar
salt
5 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cream

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Halve squashes, remove seeds, brush with oil, place cut side down on old cookie sheets. Place the apple, onion, carrots, and garlic in a bowl. Toss with a little olive oil, the spices, sugar and salt. Place this mixture around the squash.

This is a kabocha, and I will explain how I handle it in a sec.

Place baking sheets in oven and roast until veggies are tender and slightly charred, about 1 1/2 hours.

OK, I couldn't halve the kabocha...too tough and big. after I did the first roasting, I threw the whole kabocha in the oven and roasted it until it was extremely soft.

Note. put something under it to catch the juice. I didn't and now have to clean the oven. Silly me.

Once everything has cooled, scrape the meat from the squash, and place it and all of the other roasted fruit and veggies in a large bowl. The kabocha will still have the seeds, so you will have to work around that. You won't need all of the meat from it, about 3-4 cups, so it's pretty easy to scoop around.

In batches puree the mixture in a blender adding part of the 5 cups of water as you go. As I finished pureeing each batch, I pushed it through a sieve to make it even smoother. If you have a chinois, you certainly want to use that.

Once everything is pureed and sieved (is that even a word?) and in a large pot, add the oj and cream, more salt to taste and water to thin to the desired consistency. Heat through, stirring occasionally so it doesn't scorch.

When you serve it you could lightly stir in some more cream.

Notes: This turned out better than I expected. It's a rich hearty soup that just smacks of fall. Be warned, though, this is a fairly labor intensive soup. But is makes a lovely starter for a dinner party, or just a nice supper soup served with biscuits. This made about 10 cups so I was able to share with my daughter's family. Nice way to say I love you. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Treat for My Family

It's 3 in the morning (before the clocks were set back) and the neighbor dog has been going non-stop. The people next door just got home and have finally taken him in...but, of course, now I am wide awake. Argh!

So, I thought I would take the time and post pictures from Ronan's (our grandson) first Halloween.



video

Ronan started copying us laughing and it was such great fun I had to capture it. This is the first video I have posted, so bare with the placement. I'll get it figured out eventually.

And I think we get to have him Sunday, overnight, and Monday. So that is really a sweet treat for us. We love that little monkey...and are spoiling him rotten. So...much...fun! The reward for parenthood!