Why as adults do we lose this wonder in the world around us and become cynical? The glass is half empty as opposed to half full attitude. I am trying hard to stay on the side of the glass is half full. But the road to that destination is littered with obstacles, like this episode. A few months ago DD took a test, an entrance test if you may for a middle school program , the test while content wise not overly challenging is very time critical. DD is the laid back, calm and not easily excitable test taker fortunately unlike her mom. The fear is she takes things a little too easy. When she came out of the test center all excited that she got to 48/50 questions, the cynical me asked her why she did not finish the 2 remaining ones :( I could see her enthusiasm deflate like a pin in a balloon. The damage was done. I try hard to keep this incident in mind when I start to get excited or anxious about her laid back attitude towards most matters. We all know the detrimental effects of what pressure adds to performance. The anxiety, probably a single most quality that differentiates winners from failures. So the attitude she has is probably a strength rather than a weakness. Thoughts folks?
The more I pay attention the more I learn that kids can teach a few gems about living life to adults. Rather than adults teaching kids about life the reverse holds more value. The eternal optimism, the anything is possible attitude, I can DO it confidence, seeing the positive side in any situation are all qualities that kids have in large quantities and from whom we can sure learn. The fairness in a situation, empathy - qualities that are very simple as children take on a more nuanced meaning when we get older. The world might be a better place if we kept things simpler perhaps.
So my motto for life is live life like a kid and sleep like a baby :) If you are curious, DD did make it into the program.
Now to the recipe,
Butternut squash is a favorite one in our house but other than the stir fry not many recipes that I regularly cook which use it as a main ingredient. I saw butternut Squash velvet recipe on Jacques Pepin show. I have never used leeks in my cooking either. The recipe was very easy and seemed a perfect one for a chilly evening. The soup I made for thick but make it as thick or thin as would like.
Note: Cleaning the leeks
Leeks are dirty and needs to washed thoroughly for getting out the dirt. If you watch the video notice the tips that Pepin gives for washing the leeks, slice the leeks lengthwise on the four sides, fan it out and wash under running water.
Recipe Source: Jacques Pepin - TV Show
Butternut squash velvet
1. 4 cups of chopped butternut squash
2. 4 leeks cleaned and chopped (remove only the tough green part, both white and green parts can be used)
3. 1/4 onion sliced
4. 3 tsp of butter or olive oil
5. 2 tsp of black pepper (adjust to taste)
6. 1 tsp of red chili powder (optional)
7. salt to taste
8. 3 cups of low sodium chicken stock (substitute with water for a vegetarian version)
9. sour cream for garnish
10. almonds or pistachios for garnish
1. In a thick bottom pan, heat the butter, add the onions and leeks and let them saute for a few minutes.
2. Add the squash, 1 tsp of pepper and saute for a minute more.
3. Now add the chicken stock, close the lid and cook for 10-15 minutes till the squash is soft.
4. add salt, the chili powder and remaining pepper powder, taste and let boil for a minute more.
5. Let cool and blend in a blender or using a hand held blender
6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and crushed nuts on top.
The sweetness from the squash and the slightly pungent taste from the leeks along with the creamy sour cream made for a delicious soup.