Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trip Aftermath and Soup

As you can tell, I've been incommunicado for the last two weeks, mainly because we were traveling.  The kids and I went to Southern California for the Thanksgiving holiday and enjoyed almost a week and a half with my family, who we rarely get to see these days.  We had fun but man, I'm glad to be home...and I'm sure my family is happy that we're gone too.  ;-) 

The road trip south went well.  We left a little after noon on Sunday and arrived at my mother's house around 9.  We ended up taking a round-about way down the 101 to miss some nasty weather on the I-5.  A massive winter storm sat on top of the mountain pass between the Central Valley and LA for two days, dumping snow and making travel miserable.  Even though I have all-wheel drive, I wasn't interested in dealing with snow, ice, and idiot CA drivers in the dark.  Ugh.

Pumpkin Oat Muffins - a New Family Fav!
Thanksgiving dinner went well.  My sister told me later that the highlights of the dinner were "Pumpkin Oat Muffins" (her exact words were "addictive!") and the mashed sweet potatoes I made, which made me very happy.  It's always nice to feel appreciated and know that people like my food.  ;-) 

I ended up cooking a lot while down there.  Nothing new, really - I love to cook and my sister keeps their house pretty well stocked with a variety of proteins, so I had fun experimenting.  Though I will tell you that there were times I missed my chef's knife and cast iron pans.  I've been using cast iron frying pans for the last two years so I had quite a re-learning curve while cooking with their Teflon pans.  I "browned" a lot of eggs while making breakfast in the AM.  *sigh*

We returned home yesterday.  Though we took a more direct route home, it still took us a long time, thanks to my 5 year old who seemed to require a bathroom break every hour.  Let's just say that Mama was VERY happy to finally pull the old Subaru into the carport.

For one of our "potty breaks", I stopped at a touristy farmer's market located on the Bakersfield side of the Tehachapi pass.  Considering it's December and the location, I was expecting high prices (I wasn't disappointed - almost $3/lb for apples!) but was surprised to find butternut squash for 45 cents a pound and discounted pumpkins.  I bought some of the butternut - I just couldn't pass up the price - but had to leave the pumpkins behind.  My car was packed full and I had no room for it.  I'm still pouting about that!

So, today, I'm making "Harvest Soup" for dinner.  I roasted the butternut squash and all of the old carrots I had left in my crisper.  While they cooked, I sauteed onions and garlic in my stew pot, added about 6 cups of homemade chicken broth and left it to simmer.  When the squash was soft, I scooped out the flesh and tossed everything into the pot.  Then I used my immersion blender to blend it into a smooth soup.  I seasoned it to taste with cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and a touch of brown sugar (to bring out the sweetness of the squash and carrots) and left it to brew on top of my stovetop on low until we're ready to eat.  It's super yummy and just what I need on a cold winter day after that long trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.