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Wednesday, 09 September 2015 16:55

Autumn soup is the perfect food for the perfect season

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I had an entirely other story in mind for this week. Something about how, everywhere I go this month, someone can be found lamenting, “Where did summer go?”


I was going to apologize and say it’s my fault.
I asked it to leave.
Autumn is my seasonal soul mate, you see. I appreciate that, if forget to bring water on an autumn walk, I will not collapse ten minutes later from dehydration, requiring an air lift to the nearest faucet.
It’s nice, too, to be able to picnic and not worry about the mayonnaise-based potato salad becoming a bio-hazard and eliminating an entire family in one fell reunion.
I was going to write that a recent drive through orchard country told me that it’s the beginning of apple pie and poached pear season. Of pear crisps and stuffed apples.
While in the gardens, growers are busy measuring the progress of muskmelons and autumn squash.
Even now, on my kitchen counter, waits an heirloom melon of such fragrance that  the season’s surviving fruit flies are looking mournfully through my kitchen window.
And until a few hours ago, there were two of the most beautiful acorn squash ever picked, just begging to be made into soup.
That, however, is how everything went sideways and the story changed.
The soup started out as soups do. With an extra-chickeny, home-made chicken stock worthy of the poultry’s sacrifice.
Into the oven went the squash, roasting to concentrate all of their fall flavour.
And soon enough, my chef had the few simple ingredients were simmering together and I was busy scratching down recipe notes.
 With the light coming in perfectly from the west windows, I took bowl and spoon over for their close up, while T’Abigail, our Oriental Shorthair, came to inspect the contents.
Now, for anyone who’s a cat parent to a Siamese or Oriental, you’ll know that they’re a more than ordinarily curious and busy breed.
Always eager to share your food, and take over your lap (which is where T’Abi can be found, any time I’m writing).
Without considering the full possibilities of my actions, the next thing I did was set the bowl of hot soup down next to my laptop while I downloaded the contents of my photo card.
And then it happened. From a ledge near my desk, T’Abigail made her move for my lap, via the spot on the desk that we’d long ago agreed was her pathway.
Up went the soup.
And then down came the soup.
All over my keyboard, screen, desk, wall, stereo, notebooks and dayplanner.
And for the next hour, with the patience of a diamond cutter, while T’Abi licked soup off her feet and I nervously cleaned the kitchen, my chef husband was bent over my desk with bamboo skewers and Q-Tips.
Apparently, it’s a good thing this autumn soup was nice and thick.

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