After taking a break to digest Thanksgiving dinner, it's time to launch into the last few posts for 2007 and look forward to this blog's second anniversary. I would lie and say that I was doing something wildly impressive last weekend, which is why I didn't post, but the truth is far simpler and less interesting.
In disconnecting the cable/internet service from a neighboring apartment, the cable folks accidentally tripped mine either instead of or in addition to. Needless to say, I was really unhappy to find out on my day off that I had neither cable (which meant that I couldn't really watch any tv at all) or computer connections. It's amazing as to how isolated that made me feel. Fortunately, the tech who was sent out on my service call knew before he even came to my apartment what the problem was and resolved it right away. I felt like I could breath again.
One of the things that I did do on my blog break was to attempt another recipe from the Cook's Illustrated issue that I'd highlighted a couple of posts back when I made the Goat's Cheese Salad. This time, on the recommendation of the friend who'd pointed me this way to begin with, I made the Butternut Squash Soup. This is such a classic and comforting winter warmer and I'm always on the lookout for the version of this recipe that will live in my files forever.
I definitely think that this recipe might be THE ONE to keep in my files. I always find it interesting to read about the process that the Cook's folks go through in addition to trying their end result. For me, it sort of helps to define the rationale for some of the quirkier steps that might be in the recipe. It also makes me realize that many of us have the same issues in trying to replicate those flavors that we love and have eaten previously, usually in nicer restaurants.
So, I highly recommend that you give this recipe a whirl, as my friend did to me. She did warn me, however, that it is really "squashy" for lack of a better adjective. It tastes like eating perfectly creamy smooth squash. If you don't like that, don't try this. What she didn't say is that it is very orange. It is really, really orange, as you can see from the photos below.
Kitchen Witch Tips
For those of you who haven't yet acquired a hand-held blender, I'll plead with you once again to consider putting it on your holiday gift list or to treat yourself while you are shopping for other people. This is definitely the utensil that keeps on giving. With this, you can skip over that whole messy part of the recipe that calls for transferring hot or warm liquid to a blender, pureeing it and then return it to the pan to reheat.
Simply puree the cooled-down liquid in the same pot as the squash was cooked, using the hand-held blender and then reheat the same, never having to transport the soup from one vessel to another with all that slopping about. The blender is a snap to clean and far less messy to deal with than having to take apart a standard blender or processor with all the blades and other bits. You need this utensil in your kitchen.