Friday, September 28, 2012

When Dad's Away...

...we make soup.  Not just any soup, though.  A soup I discovered last fall that now has a sacred place on my fall bucket list every year.  Could I make it in the summertime?  Why, of course, yet, there's something about purchasing my first butternut squash of the season, sitting there basking in all its glory next to the mums and corn husks, and array of cute gourds, that makes it worth the wait.

**recipe for butternut squash soup below..**

Beau left early Sunday for a work conference in Omaha, leaving Cruz and I some quality mama/son time for a few days.  Beau doesn't leave us very often, but it's always those times that I realize just how important he is to this family's equation.  I miss little things the most --- conversation in the kitchen during dinner time, cramming in the bathroom together during bath time, and the simple presence of someone sitting across the way in the living room.  Heck, I even missed that guitar playing Blowin' in the Wind for the 200th time.  

And now, after having another life to care for, my responsibility heightens even more when it's just me.  I remember after Cruz was born, Beau took a week or so off from work.  Every day, we rode the parenting train together, leaning on one another, examining our handiwork with a diaper, and tag-teaming simple routines like baths, poopy diapers, and bag packing.  I think we changed diapers together for the first three months of Cruz's life.  Anyways, I remember the first day Beau went back to work, my first day at home with Cruz by myself.  While one part of me was so excited for the opportunity to get this precious baby all to myself, another part of me was freaking out, knowing it was all up to me to keep this thing alive and happy for eight hours straight.  I was walking the plank alone, and the open waters below looked pretty intimidating.      

And although I still feel that anxiety creep into my system when it's just me for a few days, there's now a part that I relish, a part that makes me feel strong and powerful and independent when I have a chance to swim it on my own.  When there's two of us around,  I sometimes get into this trap of feeling like there's always something else to do, but when it's just me, it's validating to realize that life sometimes goes a whole lot smoother when you're not trying to accomplish everything at once.  The small things, a bath before bed, five bedtime stories instead of three, and getting out the door on time in the morning, all become big accomplishments when it's up to one person.  I always salute every single mama in this world after going it alone for a day or two.       

So what did the boy and I do while daddy was away???

We went for a walk before bed.

We did some puzzles.

We visited the book store and the pet store with Papa Curt and Grandma Kelly.

We did some painting.

And, we made soup.  

Without further adieu, the recipe to my savory and creamy butternut squash masterpiece.

-1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
-4 tbsp. butter
-6 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks (about the size of a quarter)
-2 cups chicken broth
-1 cup water
-4 cubes chicken bouillon
-1/2 tsp. garlic salt
-1/2 tsp. marjoram
-1/2 tsp. black pepper
-1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
-1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1.  In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until tender.  Add squash, water, broth, and spices, and bring to boil.  Boil for 20 minutes, or until squash is tender and well, squashable.

2.  Reduce heat to low and add package of cream cheese and stir until melted.  Next, in batches, puree soup in a blender or processor.  Stir back in pot and heat through.  

**I like the soup with a spoonful of brown sugar and a piece of crusty bread for dipping.  

Happy Weekend to You!  Where did you go, September?!


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