It was literally 3 days ago I was coming off the high of helping to decide and award the winner of the 46th $1,000,000 Pillsbury Bake-Off in Las Vegas. How quickly things changed when I arrived home. With my cocktail dresses still packed in my red suitcase, yesterday morning I headed to the hospital in nothing but a black loose cotton zip-front dress, no bra, just underwear, and some plastic flip flops. With no make-up on and my crazy short bed hair out of control, I changed into a sexy beautiful back tying hospital gown waiting to undergo shoulder surgery.
The only thing I remember from yesterday morning is the anesthesiologist explaining to me that I wouldn’t remember anything from the procedure. This was good because after he explained that he would give me an anesthetic block via a needle in my neck, I was a little freaked out. One time I woke up during root canal surgery and the traumatic experience from that has stayed with me.
After being hooked up to an IV I said goodbye to my husband and was rolled into the operating room. Lying on the bed I was introduced to a few nurses, I don’t even recall seeing my surgeon in the room. We made small conversation no more than 5 minutes. The next thing I remember is one of the nurses calling out to me, “Alice.. Alice.. Alice…” Barely aware of anything, he explained that the surgery went well. All I knew at that moment was that I was dressed back into my dress with a sling on my right shoulder. I am so thankful that the anesthesiologist was right. I didn’t remember a thing.
With my husband by my side, I drank a small grape juice from a can with a cracker. This was my “meal” to take with my medicine. I can’t exactly describe the feeling of having the entire upper right side of your body and head feeling numb, but it was weird and awkward. As the discharge nurse gave us post-op instructions all I could think about is how much it was about to suck when I got home. Basically my arm is in a sling and I can’t pick up anything or do very much with it.
After being in this bed all day, I can’t watch anymore episodes of Preachers of LA. I have a hard time doing nothing and just resting. And now I feel like I’m in bed jail.
But here’s the thing. I’m rebellious. The day I came home after I gave birth to my first daughter via c-section I was trimming our large laurel hedge on a ladder with an electric saw. One of the reasons I had avoided having to do the surgery six months was because I knew it meant I would have to scale back my normal everyday activity. But the level of increasing pain made it obvious that surgery would be in my near future. If you knew me in person, you would know this does not sit well with me.
Finally today, knowing my mom was not home, I went downstairs to the kitchen. I brought an acorn squash, small cutting board, and knife to my husband while he was on a telephone call signaling to him to cut the squash in half. He looked at me like I was nuts but because he was on a work call he couldn’t argue with me. He knows me well enough that my determination would win any sort of argument he might try to engage me in. I walked back to the kitchen with my acorn and started to cook this wonderful soup using what I had in my refrigerator and pantry. Cooking for me is therapeutic and with the dark grey sky as my companion today, a warm spicy comfort soup was in order.
With one hand and the help of a food processor and microwave, I made my soup and felt so accomplished for doing it. Even shoulder surgery cannot stop me. Although I wasn’t planning on posting this here on SSL, I changed my mind. Using my iPhone I took these pictures and I only wish you could be here with me to taste this soup because it is the kind of soup that you could easily serve your friends and family and feel good about it because it is so damn good. Even Thanksgiving good. I know I’m rambling, it’s the Percocet medicine. I apologize in advance for the typos and grammar mistakes. Clearly I’m not thinking straight. But my palate is dead on. This soup is amazing and for how little effort it takes, my gosh you should make it just for the sake of enjoying a nice bowl.
It makes about 3 ½ cups, so it could easily be served as a starter course or a main dish. Ok, I’m done rambling. For those of you who stuck it out to read this, I love you. You get a gold star. I’m done. I promise, I’m done, the last dose of medicine has kicked in. Good bye.
- 1 acorn squash
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 2 pieces of ginger about the size and thickness of nickels, chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup Asian coconut milk (full fat not light or reduced fat)
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1½ teaspoons red curry paste
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and stringy pulp.
- Place the two halves in an 8×8 glass baking dish, cut side down (outside dome part facing up).
- Fill the baking dish with enough water so it is one inch high.
- Microwave the squash for 20 minutes. Squash will be tender.
- While the squash is cooking, prepare the rest of the soup.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 5-7 minutes until the onions are soft, season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, peanut butter, curry paste, bouillon cube, and fish sauce. Stir the soup until the peanut butter, curry paste, and bouillon cube have dissolved.
- Cook the soup at a low simmer until the squash is ready.
- Carefully remove the squash from the microwave. The baking dish will be extremely hot.
- Spoon out the flesh of the squash and add it to a food processor or blender.
- Carefully transfer the broth mixture to the food processor or blender.
- Puree the soup until smooth. Season the soup with salt and pepper if necessary.
- To make your soup more visually appealing, drizzle a little bit of coconut milk on top of each bowl.
- Serve immediately.