Pumpkins and Squash, oh my!

We joined a Community Sustained Agriculture Farm (CSA) delivery service last year.
Most of the time I remember to go on to their website the weekend before the delivery date but this Sunday I completely flaked and forgot to change my order.
So then you get what is seasonal, a total surprise most of the time.
In my box this week were 2 pumpkins, a squash the size of a small dog, a jumbo leek, celery, kiwi’s and 7 pears.


Clearly this called for a big knife. The pumpkins were  the size of a soccer ball!

I love to make soup, so I decided to use the squash and pumpkins.
I tweaked a recipe my daughter sent me.

I’ll write out the recipe for less, this yielded enough soup for 2 big containers, 3 small and a square large container.


Curried Pumpkin Squash soup.

1 medium size pumpkin
1 squash
Medium onion
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Olive oil, for frying onion and drizzling over pumpkin/squash
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 to 1 teaspoon mild or medium spicy curry powder
1 teaspoon Tumeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbs Heavy cream
1 tbs butter (optional)


Line cookie sheet with wax paper.
Preheat oven to 350f
Cut pumpkin in wedges, discard the seeds
Slice squash in half and then cut that half in another half
Place all on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper  on
Bake on 350 until you can pierce veggies with a fork, turning them over halfway (it took me 50 minutes)

In a pan sauté the onions until caramelized, reduce heat and add wine and sage.
Lets simmer until almost reduced, add Tumeric.

Let the veggies cool off and then peel with a paring knife.
If you have a stick blender:
Add scooped veggies to the pan with the onions and add about 2 cups of broth.
Blend until smooth,adding more broth if needed.
If you do not have a stick blender use a regular blender and slowly add broth until your soup has the consistency of a slightly thick smooth liquid.
Taste and add heavy cream,curry powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the butter and garnish with a little splash of heavy cream.



Let’s see, since last we crossed paths I was going in for my allergy test.
It had been a full month since lunch tried to kill me.
I avoided certain foods that whole time, for no real reason it turns out.

Day of the test I brought in the egg rolls and the spring rolls.
8:30 in the morning with Himself and Dr. No in the room I took a tiny bite of each.
And waited.
Then NOTHING happened.
15 minutes later another bite, bigger this time.
Waited, and NOTHING happened.
9 am, another bite (bigger) and you guessed it. Nada, Zilch, Rien de Tout, Niks.
Dr. No left the room at 9:15 and Himself was getting restless as well.
Next dose I was getting ticked off so I took a way bigger bite of all the foods.
But 9:30 rolled around with not even a little cough or a tickle.
This is when Himself decided it was safe for him to go to work, leaving me alone to finish off the remainder of the food.
Which I did, with no effects whatsoever.
Dr. No returned and decided I was not allergic to anything I ate, have a nice day!

Since then I’ve added peanuts and other nuts to my food, ate crab at our recent crab feed but have avoided shrimp like the plague.
I have now, count em!, 4 Epi pens on me at all times.

I doubt I’ll ever find out what it was that made me go to the ER which in a way is a bit scary.
But I’m eating food and not letting it scare me.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

When I was in Culinary school I learned how to make this salad.
I can’t believe it took until today to make it again.
It has the sweetness of the grapes and the crunchiness of the apple making this a nice fresh salad for lunch.
I added chicken and swapped out one tbs of mayo for a tbs of yogurt.
(and until I find out what caused my allergy reaction there are no walnuts)

4-8 ounces of chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced
1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and the lemon juice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt,
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.
Mix in the chicken, apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts.



I’ve been so lucky as a cook that I never had food allergies, there have been sensitivities to some foods but no reactions to anything.
Until this past Saturday and it was a very scary incident.

My farmers market has a wide array of food vendors and I’ve picked up lunch from there for about 2 years now and never a problem.
One of the vendors has these amazing spring rolls and they stand out because they are made right in front of you.
I can eat them as a treat because they are gluten free.

I bought them and 3 egg rolls and went to my favorite yarn store to help out and to spin.
Thoroughly enjoyed eating my food dipped in spicy peanut sauce.
15 minutes after I started eating I noticed the rings on my right hand wouldn’t come off, odd because they are sliding easily on and off.
I also felt a bit warm but thought it had to do with eating rather fast.
Got up, washed my hands and helped my friend wind some yarn.

And that’s when it got really scary. As I was winding I felt terribly congested and a bit light headed.
My friend looked at me and commented that I looked a bit fuller in the face.
At that moment I could feel my face swell from the inside out.

I was having an allergic reaction to whatever I ate earlier.

Quick action in the form of giving me 2 antihistamines and getting hold of Himself was taken by my friends.
I went to Urgent Care, was whisked in fast.
Blood oxygen was good and I started to feel less swollen.
The Dr. told me the antihistamines had done their work fast and that my friends essentially had saved my life.
It wasn’t a reaction that needed my epi-pen (beesting allergy) at Urgent Care but he told me next time to use the epi-pen and no antihistamines.

24 hours later I’m feeling fine, a bit loopy from the anti-histamines I’m taking every 4 hours but fine.
And Alive.
Himself told me later that there had been an obituary last week of a young woman who had died from an allergic reaction.
Scary thought.(and not very reassuring coming from Himself)

I always have been a label reader but now I have to be doubly so.
Until I can get tested I need to be super cautious, no shrimp, nuts, seeds or Asian food.
No foods cooked in the same area as shrimp or other shell fish.

In a way I’m rooting for it to be MSG, life without shell fish would be so sad. Crab season opened last week!

But, as my friend Pamela said last night,giving up shell fish beats being dead.

ps….I’m going to have to sit down and write a will. If you have one I applaud you. If not,get one made up.
There are simple templates online you can fill out and have signed by 2 witnesses.
Then you make sure your loved ones know what you want.

Take care….

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