My house is NOT empty this week; it is FULL, FULL, FULL! Both of my daughters are visiting from New York and New Mexico, and thus my heart is full, too. That means my post for the Midlife Boulevard Blog Hop will be uncharacteristically short. Lucky you, my lovely readers!
A fall recipe Blog Hop is irresistible and appropriate for me to take a moment to participate in, however, because our favorite thing to do together is eat and talk around the family table. While my daughters aren’t gluten free and dairy free, my husband, son and I are. Finding recipes everyone enjoys can be a challenge, which often means my kitchen does double, sometimes triple duty.
A short-order cook this momma is not, but something I always enjoy doing for my daughters when they’re around is making their favorite soups. Soup is one of the easiest things to prepare to meet everyone’s needs.
My oldest daughter and I are the only ones who enjoy squash in the family, so an excuse is welcome to prepare and post for the Blog Hop today, my original recipe for Thai Butternut Bisque.
For my step-daughter and for my son (who is beyond thrilled to have this precious time with both of his sisters—and he doesn’t even have to share them with their husbands!) this week, my Feel Better Soup will be in order.
My wish for each of you is time with your loved-ones around a table laden with your favorite fall soup.
Original Recipe: Thai Butternut Bisque
1 large or 2 med Butternut Squash, quartered & seeded (reserve seeds)
Butter or vegan alternative
2 large shallots, plus 1/4 white or yellow onion
4 tsp peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 tsp cumin powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (f).
Spray large sheet pan with non-stick spray.
Place quartered and seeded squash on it, season to taste with salt, white pepper and drizzle with olive oil. You may wish to rinse, pat dry and roast the seeds. Season them with salt, pepper and a bit of cumin powder and just coat with olive oil. Roast with the squash but on a separate pan, approximately 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Continue to roast squash for an hour, or until easily pierced with fork.
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lime
4 - 5 cups organic free-range chicken stock (reserve the 5th cup to adjust texture)
1 can unsweetened organic coconut milk
Salt & white pepper to taste
In large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat, saute' shallots and onions two minutes in a drizzle of olive oil, then add the minced ginger. Continue to saute' until softened and translucent. Do not allow to dry out, adding a good tablespoon butter or vegan alternative to keep the mixture moist and to keep it from browning. Add your squash, 4 cups of the chicken stock, lime juice, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a light boil, stirring and breaking up the squash with a wooden spoon. Turn down heat and allow to simmer lightly, 10-15 minutes. With an immersion blender (or in small batches using your regular blender), puree until smooth. Return to pan, stir in the can of coconut milk and as much of the 5th cup of chicken stock as you need to achieve the desired consistency. Continue to cook for a few minutes more, or until the coconut milk is well incorporated. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
Serve as a first course, topped with fresh chopped cilantro and the toasted squash seeds, if desired. Also nice with a dollop of sour cream, Crème fraîche or greek or strained goat yogurt. Thin it down slightly, and you may enjoy it as an alternative pasta sauce over penne or ravioli, as well.
I must believe an overwhelming majority exists today versus the brave few who, more than one hundred years ago, risked their lives to hide slaves under their floors. If I didn’t, I couldn't live in this America, amid an undercurrent I can’t escape. I think about it daily, and only more so during the last several weeks of looming and actual government shutdown. Grateful for our momentary reprieve, I'm keenly aware that if we allow it, our country will soon be held hostage by insipid and racially motivated bipartisanship all over again.
We’ve come too far to watch our neighbors get away with not-so-thinly-veiled racism that has occupied the news over the last several years, certainly that which cloaked the recent government shutdown. It isn’t acceptable in polite society, or in any society. We are all human beings who must coexist on this planet. I guess this is where Enlightened Middle Mom falls to the liberal side of things. I don’t care what consensual adults do with one another in their bedrooms. I want everyone who inhabits this earth to feel like they have as much right as I do to be here, certainly the same opportunity to be a school teacher, police officer or even president. The hardworking middle deserves to be rewarded every bit as much as the entitled few.
My fear is that we haven’t seen anything yet. If we continue to rubber-stamp this attitude, I fear a woman president will be subject to even more hatred and division than we’ve seen over President Obama’s terms thus far. I saw hate delivered to the beautiful and deserving Nina Davuluri, as she was crowned Miss America. I saw loathing and rape threats thrust at Lindy West, recipient of the Women’s Media Center’s Social Media Award in New York this month, because:
“When Lindy spoke up to explain to comedians why their jokes about rape might not always be so funny, she received rape threats just for voicing her opinion on the subject,” [Jane Fonda, two-time Academy® Award-winning actress, humanitarian, activist and Co-Founder of The Women’s Media Center] said [upon presenting the award]. “Lucky for us and for everyone, Lindy hasn’t let the negativity stop her from being funny, smart and insightful about comedy, media and everything else.”
Racism is something we all must check within ourselves. Depending upon our upbringing or on the region in which we’re raised, conquering our fear and inherent tendencies toward racism or hatred might be nonexistent or it might take great effort. It is an endeavor worthy of our sincerest efforts, more than perhaps any other.
Not talking about what we’ve witnessed over the last several years won't get us anywhere. Our silence won't help the future of minorities and women in politics. Platitudes won’t tell the Tea Party that their thinly veiled propaganda absolutely will not be tolerated come the next round of budget votes. We’ve bought a paltry few weeks before we once again endure the same threat to our economy and our place in the world.
Those of us in the Enlightened Middle Majority might not be perfect, we might be works in progress where our own attitudes and mores are concerned, but we need to trust our inner voices and rumble a lot louder if we hope to further progress. We can't keep holding our breaths waiting for the next guy to stop the ruckus. Together with the likes of Senator John McCain, the “Sister Senators” and the rest of the bipartisan coalition that banded together in the interest of ever elusive progress, it will be up to the moderates, our voices and our midterm votes to prevent future economic catastrophes like the recent shutdown we witnessed. I don’t know about your family, but mine can’t take much more irrepressible division.
We have it on good authority there are more of us who have had enough than there are of them.
Author|Award-Winning Essayist|Freelance CommercialWriter|GANE
Empowered Wellness Advocate, Facilitator, Speaker
Kim is a freelance writer, living and working on Michigan’s sunset coast with her husband, youngest son, a standard poodle and a gecko. She’s been every-mom, raising two generations of kids over twenty-seven years. Kim writes on a variety of topics including parenting through midlife crisis, infertility, health and wellness, personal empowerment, politics, and about anything else that interests her, including flash fiction and her novel in progress, Bluebirds. Oh, and this happened!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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