Butternut Squash Soup and Dinner Party Success with Some Confidence and Support

Hi everyone. Sorry for the lag in blogs but it has been a rough week.

What helped bring us out of our challenging week was a great dinner party we went to last night. One of the highlights of the evening, in addition to the delicious food, was the demonstration of the hostess’ confidence and learned culinary skills. She is a good friend of mine who just a few years ago could barely chop an onion (I mean it, I had to show her how to chop an onion). She was a great baker but left the bulk of the household’s cooking to her weekend warrior cooking husband who did a lot of grilling. This worked fine for her, although many women I speak with are intimidated by their husband’s cooking prowess (more on that topic in a future blog post).

When she took a bit of time with a friend (O.K., me!) to start learning how to prepare some of the more exotic yet easy dishes that she really enjoyed herself but thought were too hard, she began gaining confidence in the kitchen and now, SHE is the main “Celebrity Home Chef” in their house. She said it felt good not to have to be dependent on nannies or her husband to prepare their family’s meals.

She also commented on how it really was “not that hard” and that she would incrementally challenge herself. Over time, she has made an effort to cook a new meal every week and she feels she has truly achieved a goal that had previously seemed somewhat daunting to her. She has gone from point A to point B and is now inspired to start gardening as a result of her realization that with a little hard work, and a little support (her husband helps her in the kitchen) she can overcome other seemingly just-out-of-reach goals.

She told of how she now brings her mother frozen soup when she visits her. Her mother has always been the one to provide this gift for her. At the last visit, her mother said, “If you live long enough (you’ll see everything)….” Ooooooo, I’m all warm and fuzzy inside!

She served a dinner with soup, salad, an entree with 5! fabulous desserts (her husband made an awesome apple pie) and the timing for every course was perfect. She was kind enough to share the soup recipe that she got from the Today Show which is below. She is a true Cooking Success story and I am proud of her perseverance!:

Dinner Party Butternut Squash Soup

5 lbs butternut squash
6 tbs butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 tbs ginger, minced
6 cups veggie stock (or may need a little more)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350. Open squash in half, deseed and schmear with butter. Roast for an hour or until soft. In large pot, melt 4 tbs butter, onions, shallots and ginger and cook until onions are wilted. Scoop cooked squash out and add to soup along with stock and coconut milk. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Then blend with blend stick (immersion blender)or in regular blender or food processor until smooth. Garnish with toasted coconut.

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One comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am the dinner party-giver and just want to clarify/elaborate on something Alma modestly wrote. For my 40th birthday, Alma made me a cookbook, outfitted my kitchen with some cooking essentials, and gave me a cooking lesson. The lesson really was the turning point for me in the kitchen, because it made clear something that I hadn’t previously understood: good cooking is not a gift — it’s an easily acquired skill. It’s simply a matter of following directions! So I have Alma to thank for that enlightenmenet and for the fun I now have in the kitchen. (But I still stink at chopping onions!)

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