Sunday, December 13, 2009

30 and counting.....on things to change.

They sell boxed wine in a single serving portion.  3 glasses in one re-sealable bottle-box.  I stopped in at the store for tea and rice milk.  Standing in the Tea/Coffee/bakeware aisle, I felt restless.  Like sleep wouldn't come without a little help.  Like the worry lines in my forehead were getting deeper. I wanted a little wine to relax it all.  I intended to by one of those airline sized bottles of Sutter Home - for medicinal purposes, no need for quality or good taste tonight.  They were all packed in six packs.  Can you just take one of those little bottles and not buy all six?  There was no one around to ask, so I settled for the solo (cardboard) alternative.

At home, searching for some little snack to have with my wine, I found a can of smoked oysters.  How smoked oysters got in the cabinet, I can't quite say, but there they were.  They seemed like a classy thing to eat with my ever-so-dignified box o' cabernet, so I stood at the kitchen counter at almost midnight, eating smoked oysters and drinking wine.

Here's the thing.  Here's what's itching and driving me to the wine aisle at Ralph's.  Why do things keep changing?  I set myself on these straight an narrow paths and I hit only dead ends and curves.  Instead of sleeping soundly on a bed of security and happiness, I am sitting up eating oysters from a can and feeling tipsy from wine sold in a shoe box.

I'm beginning to believe that there isn't a time down the road when it all settles down.  I'm starting to think that it never does.  There's always something, isn't there?  No rest for the weary.  No sleep 'till Brooklyn.

"Seems it never rains in southern California.  Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before.  It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya,  it pours, man it pours."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

30 and counting....Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Texas Pecans

It's cold.  Yes, 'cold' may mean 57 degrees here instead of 47 degrees, but my thin blood says it's winter.  To cure the cold, please gather the following ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
1generous tbsp of olive oil
1clove of garlic, chopped
1 16oz. bag of frozen butternut squash (I was skeptical, too.  It was on sale and turned out to be a big timesaver!)
1 qt Imagine Brand No-Chicken Stock
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper (you can of course use less, a dash will work fine)
1 tbsp of butter (because it's winter and you deserve butter.  we all do.)
salt and pepper to taste

Get the oil hot in the bottom of your soup pot over medium heat.  Sautee the onion with a pinch of salt to make them sweat, 1-2 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic and sautee until the onions become nice and translucent. Next, add the cinnamon and nutmeg and stir till they coat your onions.  Add the bag of squash (no need to defrost).  Let this cook until the squash thaws and gives up some of its water.  Pour in the No-Chicken Stock and stir, making sure to get anything that's stuck to the bottom of the pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer, 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and get out your immersion blender. (a regular blender will work as well)  Blend until smooth, then add butter and cayenne and blend them in.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

I garnished mine (even though I was home alone and there was no one to be fancy for) with toasted pecans from Texas.  My Aunt Linda lives in San Antonio.  She gave me some pecans at Thanksgiving and they are fantastic!  I put them in the oven at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet or in whatever pan I can get my hands on and toast them till they turn darker brown and start to smell good.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

30 and close is too close?

"Are you purple or blue?"

Silence from behind the shower curtain.

"Bec, purple or blue?" I said with a hint of urgency.

"I'm the one on the right. I've been using whatever one is on the right."

"Right is not a color."

Purple is on the right.  I am feeling more and more sure that I was purple when this whole thing started.  I remember thinking, "Becca's color as a baby was purple.  It's my turn to be purple."

Finally, poking her head out of the shower, she said, "I think I was the blue toothbrush.  But now, I'm on the right.  The right is purple.  I think that means we've switched."