As American as baseball and……

Yup! You guessed it, APPLE PIE.

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soup

I used to LOVE to eat soup.  It was one of my favorite things to just sit down with a HUGE bowl of soup on a cold day and sip it out of a shovel-sized spoon.  Then, I got married and we started a family.  Now, we aren’t really a big soup family.  With 4 kids 4 and under, soup usually is less like food and more like art.  I made a personal vow many years ago that I would not be one of those ladies that makes four different meals for the four members of her family because of personal preferences.  [I won’t do chili for Ben,  chicken for me, hot dogs for Buddy, green beans for Puddi, and mac & cheese for Belle. The only one who gets special treatment is Tyker because he still isn’t eating solids and I don’t think formula would go over well with the rest of the family.]  Anyway…..back to soup.

Soup is messy and because of that, I have avoided it for the last 4 years.  Well, today I decided to take a risk.  I’m not talkin’ a little “Campbell’s chicken noodle soup” kind of risk either.  I’m talkin’ BIG RISK.  Like huge risky risk!  I was on my way back into the house after going to get the mail and looked over at my garden.  There in the wasteland of summer past lay a gigantic butternut squash.  Hmmmm….I don’t remember seeing you there, little fella.  I wonder what I should do with you?  I know, I’ll pick you and turn you into……a……pie?  Nah, too busy for crust today.  uh…..casserole!….eh, I’d probably be inclined to drown you in maple syrup (and I’d like for this veggie to not be dessert).  SOUP! That’s it!!  I’ll turn you into soup.

I dragged that honkin’ butternut squash into the kitchen.  Pulled out the biggest, scariest, sharpest knife in the house (ok, no, I didn’t break out the sawzall), but it was a BIG knife.  I lopped it in half and stuck it in the oven, cranked up the heat to 375, and waited for the magic to happen.

Meanwhile back at the ranch (couldn’t help myself there), I cut up an onion, some celery, and a carrot.  Here’s the secret to almost all food.  Carmelize! And carmelize I did.  About the same time that the veggies in the skillet were getting done, the monster squash was getting pretty soft.  I peeled off the skin, chopped it up (this is beginning to sound gruesome) and threw it in with the smokey sweet yum in the pan.  I let it all get nice and muddled together, then transferred it to my blender where I added homemade chicken stock (just enough to get the blender to stop shrieking at me).

At this point, I put my “soup” in bowls and garnished with sour cream and bacon.   Serve hot with a BIG spoon (and the loaf of homemade bread I made to dunk). 

Here’s the verdict

Buddy – asked to have it for dinner tomorrow night.

Puddi & Belle – preferred the bread

Me – I liked it.  A LOT!!!

Ben – “not bad”  [actually, after the meal, he admitted that he really did like it, but was a little wary of saying so after the first bite just in case he had gotten a hold of the only good bite.]

And the best part, my dining room didn’t turn orange!

Cave in.

There’s a stray cat that has been hanging out around our house lately.  She’s really great with the kids.   They love her and she loves them.  Ben is apparently not allergic to this one.  (can I get an “awww…”?)
She seems to really like our porch.  Mostly because I decided to give her a can of tuna and then…….

So, he finally caved and pulled these bad boys out of the garage!!

Here are the official rules:

1. no cat in the house

2. don’t get attached to it

3. we won’t plan our life around it

4. if it runs off and we don’t see it again, it’s OK because it was never our cat to begin with