My blender broke yesterday. (Take that, Camus!) Right in the middle of pureeing butternut squash soup. Damn! I should have alerted the media, right? My six-year-old’s been lost in the blender! Bring cameras! Page CNN-clown Wolf Blitzer (and his idjit pals Donner and Dasher and Cupid and Prancer and Vixen)! It wasn’t a great blender, but I wasn’t complaining since it was a gift; the on-off knob had come off long since, but I could still make it work. Until yesterday, when the bit of plastic that the knob was connected to snapped. This felt terminal. I tried to take it apart, to see what I could see, but the fourth screw wasn’t a Phillips head like the others; it was a triskelion, or tri-winged! To the hell with Blitzer, call Pynchon....
As I said, this was right in the middle of the butternut squash soup. So I purchased a Waring to replace it. Very much like the one in the family kitchen for many years. It even smells the same. They must still use the same kind of motor oil.
From oil to soup. This was a very good batch. Cook’s Illustrated suggests sautéing the seeds and strings along with some shallots for flavor and extra color, adding the stock, then steaming the squash over this. Lacking a steaming basket, I did this in my pressure cooker, which of course reduced the cooking time. Then I gave the squash a whirl in the blender monster with the strained liquid. CI called for a touch of brown sugar, but it was already plenty sweet. I did, though -- being unable to leave well enough alone -- toss in a few strands of saffron to see what it would do to the color. Orange: a baby-food glossy orange that doesn’t translate to digital. We're eating this tonight with cornbread. Yellow and orange.
Speaking of orange-ness, this ain’t no way the weather for it, but a Sicilian Screwdriver is what I’m drinking now: vodka, OJ, and Solerno, a blood orange liqueur that kicks the culottes off Cointreau and Grand Marnier.