I’ve spent most of my high school years defending the goodness of the pumpkin. My friends seem to hate it, calling it all manner of foul names, all of which I’ve staunchly maintained were false and misguided. Maybe they had had bad experiences, but not I – memories of golden tender slices of roast pumpkin, and soothing warming soups swam before me. One of my favourite Japanese restaurants even gave complimentary bowls of pumpkin soup the moment one sat down, causing one of my closest friends to forevermore abandon the place. A tragedy, indeed.

Yet, I could never see anything wrong with this sweet vegetable, especially in its soup form. It’s like a little ray of liquid sunshine on a cold winter’s day, the perfect thing to curl up in a patch of sun with, alongside fluffy slippers and a good book. The addition of a dollop of full cream, crispy garlic croutons, maybe even bacon and chives if we were feeling decadent…pure bliss.

But no longer. I have been traumatised by today’s attempt at cooking, and am no longer certain where my loyalties lie. I admit, to cowardly running scared from the kitchen, leaving my poor dad to clean up what remained of the pumpkin soup.

It began with finding a delicious looking recipe on Spicy Icecream. Pumpkin and maple soup sounded absolutely perfect for these days following the Winter Solstice, traditionally the coldest days in Sydney.

And so, pumpkin was chopped up, placed in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, and generous sprinklings of sea salt and pepper to cook. That part was easy. Off I went on a not-so-dazzling driving lesson, happy and content that there would be a warm bowl of soup at the end of it.

Things started going downhill when I was entrusted with blending the pumpkin and stock together. While I’m sure many of you could attest that this is not a difficult task, it becomes slightly more so, when one has never used the blender before. But even then, things didn’t completely degenerate – once blender was plugged in and power was on, I found myself happily blending away, getting a lovely smooth soup. It wasn’t until I had to remove the top of the blender, to pour into pot, that things got messy.

The question: to twist? If so, which section? If not, what to do? Foolish me decided, okay, let’s try the top section. Twist twist twist—-uh oh. My liquid gold began to seep up from the base of the blender, spilling everywhere. I nearly cried…

Eventually, upon re-screwing the top part, I worked out that one simply had to lift the entire section off the blender, and that no spillage would occur if done correctly *has mastered the skill of using the blender*. Things should have gone smoothly from there, right? Pour pumpkin and half stock mixture into pot, add remainder of stock, heat slowly until it comes to boil.

Alas, the soup had other plans. Now, my friends who have misaligned this poor vegetable so greatly, had often made references to it being baby food, and other…well…less savoury aspects of infants. I was greatly reminded of this when the soup, much like a petulant child, decided to spit at me. Several times. And it was on low heat.

I think it was at this point I switched the stove off, left the cooking to dad and ran from the kitchen.

Woe. I don’t think I’ll be able to eat it tonight.

Perhaps I’ll take photos of it instead.

Postnote: Well, I tried it. I think I’ll stick to Mum’s recipe in future…or better yet, let her cook it.

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