My mom has decided to move into a smaller house closer to mine; and I have been helping her downsize her stuff. Sixty-four years of stuff. It has been an emotional and educational experience for both of us. My mom is great and I am so glad that I have the privilege of helping her move into the next stage of her life. I just wish she didn’t have so much stuff.
One afternoon I decided to pack up her books and discovered something that I could have gone my whole life without. I discovered that my mom was a woman and my dad was a man and they had these books that I NEVER thought my parents would have. Thinking about them and these books almost made my brain dissolve. Not my parents! YUCK!!!! Even at 40 the idea of my parents…YUCK! YUCK! YUCK! I proceeded to pack those books in the trash can never to unearth them again. (However, I did tear out a few pages for research purposes.) My mom thought it was hilarious and all she could say for herself was “how do you think you and your sisters got here?” YUUUUUUCCKK!
That afternoon brought my mom and me even closer. We laughed at our family albums, cried when we remembered my dad and jammed to old Teddy Pendergrass albums. There was so much stuff and so many great memories. I love my mom and she has always been there for me and my sisters even when times were too hard to bear. And even after all these years, she still hooks me up with gas money.
Butternut squash soup is my mom’s favorite and it’s an easy soup to make. It’s a thick heartwarming soup with great flavor. I make it for my mom whenever she wants it. It’s just my way of saying “Thanks for everything.”
Butternut Squash Soup, adapted from Emeril Lagasse
1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
Salt and pepper
Use a sharp knife to cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel the squash and cut it into 1-inch pieces.Heat the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion and jalapeno and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the apple, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 additional minute then add the squash and chicken stock. (My mom like this soup thick so I only use 3 cups stock for her. I prefer it a little thinner so I use 4 cups stock.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the cilantro. Remove the soup from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. (You can also puree the soup in a blender in 3 batches.) Return the soup to the heat and stir in the cream, if using. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary.