Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...


...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?

bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

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November 21, 2010

POTLUCK: Spicy & Sweet Hubbard Squash Soup

Stacey decided to take a month off from The Dish, but my November column POTLUCK was already in the can! Waste not a written word, so I will share it with you here. A little birdy told me that there are exciting new changes coming to STACEY'S HOT DISH...stay tuned! 


Seriously. I LIVE for Winter squash season. These days you can pretty much get Acorn, Butternut, and Spaghetti all year long. However for this wonderfully short window, the real bounty arrives. Delicata, Kabocha, Sweet Dumpling, and Hubbard- I simply cannot get enough! As well, I am grateful to the designer of Winter squash, thoughtfully wrapping up its delish/nutrish flesh  in a durable outer shell, naturally extending the culinary delight of the season! These colorful culinary Gods not only pack a wallop of sweet and earthy flavor, but Winter squashes are a great source of potassium, folic acid, B1 and C, and carotenes as well.
Have you maybe not heard of some of the varieties I mentioned? Scout your local Farmer's market, and experiment!  It is SO easy to make as a side (or main) dish. This time of year, I frequently roast a squash for dinner. Yep. That's it, just me and the squash. Delicatas are great for that. being almost "personal" in size.

My favorite variety for soup making is the Hubbard. It grows in sort of an gnarly, oblong shape, and is either a sagey-grey-green, or orange (Golden Hubbard.).They are rather unattractive and can grow to be quite large-  but NEVER judge a squash by its cover! These babies are naturally creamy and sweet. They also have a high seed yield, so expect less flesh on the inside than you might assume from its size.

This recipe is  a concoction from last Winter that was revisited several times, until I could no longer find my prized Hubbards. If I had access to them all year of course I could make it any time. Would it still be as special? Certainly not, and I am really OK with that, because it reminds me to savor all special  moments .
Enjoy the soup...while you can! 

Spicy & Sweet Hubbard Squash Soup

2 medium, or 1 LARGE Hubbard Squash, roasted
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 stick of butter
15oz can of Coconut Cream
2 cups (or 1 15 oz can) chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon Indian yellow curry powder (sweet or hot)
1 teaspoon Jamaican jerk seasoning
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons  brown sugar

Roast your squash. You can either pierce the outer skin several times with a sharp knife and roast whole, or you can halve them, scoop the seeds out and roast cavity side up, brushed with just a little olive oil. If you roast them whole, you'll want to let the squash cool down a little before slicing it in half ,and removing the seeds. Either way the squash will be cooked through when the skin starts to char and turn dark. The soft inner flesh should for the most part pull away from the skin.

While the squash is roasting,  saute the onions in the melted butter in a soup pot. When the onions become very soft and translucent, add the spices, sugar, stock and coconut cream. Leave to simmer on low.

Scoop out your squash and add to the stock  mixture, being careful not to get bits of the skin. It won't hurt you, but it is bitter. If you own an immersion blender, do your thing right in the pot. If you don't , then combine well with a spoon, then whiz 1/2 of the soup in a food processor or blender and add back to the pot. This gives the soup a silky texture yet still possesses a little tooth. Like most soups, this freezes really well-  so stock up!

When I made this over the weekend,  I had an ingredient snafu. Be sure that the coconut cream,  or "cream of coconut" is simply that,  and unadulterated. What I accidentally purchased  said Cream of Coconut , but was actually fortified with sugar and I believe intended for use in beverages. The flesh of a Hubbard is so beautifully sweet, but delicately so. The 2 tablespoons of brown sugar here are intended to balance out the spices, not enhance the squash itself. In the end my soup was edible, but way, WAY too sweet.

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