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Sunday, January 17, 2010

With a Side of High Hopes

I got up this morning
after laying in bed for an hour or two.

My mind had been whirring with two thoughts:
what will we do for vacation this summer
and
I need to do something with the Butternut squash I bought.
(photo courtesy of amidlifeculinaryadventure.blogspot.com)

You see, in my quest to eat more healthfully and (force) my family in to doing the same, I have bought a variety of fresh vegetables, among them baby spinach and cut fresh butternut squash.

I had already decided to try making a Butternut Squash soup.
I had heard about it, how rich and creamy and delicious it is.
Since it was a bleak, rainy day outside and I had several free hours,
today seemed to be the day.

I was excited.
I perused recipes, looking for commonalities.
I read reviews and opinions and finally distilled it down to a relatively light, vegetarian version.

To start, I would roast the squash in olive oil with a sprinkling of kosher salt.
Meanwhile, I would make a mirepoix and saute it in olive oil.
When it was softened, I would add freshly chopped garlic, vegetable broth and the squash, and simmer.
Twenty minutes later, I blended it all together using an immersion blender (thanks, Nana) and added about 1/4 cup of cream and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.


Keeping it on low, I quickly made whole-wheat grilled cheese sandwiches
and sliced some oranges.

Excitedly, I called the kids in for lunch.

Knowing I had made a butternut squash soup,
they slowly filed in looking for all the world like they were about to be lined up and shot, execution style.
First, I tried a bright, cheery enthusiasm:
"You are going to LOVE this! It tastes a bit like pumpkin pie!"

At this, Kate gave a snort of disgust. She doesn't *like* pumpkin pie, after all.

Failing this, I resorted to pushiness:
"You ARE GOING TO LIKE THIS!!"
and pleading:
"I am trying to get us all to eat healthier. You guys need to support me!"

All this and I hadn't even ladled up the soup yet.

Finally, I served the plates of grilled cheese and orange slices
with small custard cups of soup on the side.

The children eyed the custard cups with marked suspicion,
their brows low and furrowed.

Trey, my best taster, gave the soup an experimental sniff.
His brows lifted slightly.. it didn't SMELL bad!

I watched as each of the kids slowly yet bravely tasted the soup.
I watched as Chris's mouth opened slightly in a gag.
I watched my very best taster taste, grimace, swallow quickly and suck down his milk.

This was not going well.

I tried it myself.
YUCK.
Oh Lord, this was not good at all.
Well, I take that back.
If you like a thick, rich soup with a strange texture and a very strong squash taste,
then this is for you.

We all forced down a couple of spoonfuls of the soup,
the kids gamely trying not to boot all over the kitchen island.

Ah well, the efforts will continue but I'm afraid this one is off the list.

Meal ideas for this week:

Turkey and beef chili (50%/50% as we wean off of ground beef)
Beef vegetable stew
Lemon garlic tilapia with spinach
Mexican turkey skillet
Baked potato soup
Artichoke pasta

3 comments:

dawson47707 said...

I applaud your efforts, Leeann! I wish I were as organized as you. Good luck ... don't forget to pass on any healthy recipes that work out!

Ginaagain said...

Good try! I have definitely had my share of failed experiments and I've found that my family is a lot more forgiving than I ever expected. They seem to get a kick out of my failures especially if I refuse to eat them!

Leeann said...

Thanks, Ellen. I certainly will. I am quite sure you have far more healthy recipes than we have!

Gina, I think the biggest kick they got was knowing that when I didn't like it, they weren't going to have to eat it!

I do wonder if I would have liked it better using chicken broth. I kind of doubt it though.

Oh well, live and learn. And keep trying, right?