If You’re Not Part of the Solution

November 18th, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time


We’ve all got them. Big problems. Stupid Problems. Finger problems that we can’t seem to stop writing about.

Pile of Dishes

When I was a kid, unloading the dishwasher was one of my chores. Like most kids, I would have to be reminded and mom would say “I can’t make dinner until the kitchen is clean. I need you to unload the dishwasher NOW so I can get the kitchen cleaned up and make dinner.”

But I hated unloading the dishwasher. I had to make sure everything was dry before it was put away. What a drag. And it took, like, three whole minutes mom. Can’t you just cook AROUND the mess while I go back to reading YM, twirling my hair, snappin’ my gum and talking on the phone about all my teenage problems?

Well now I get it. I can’t make dinner until the kitchen is clean. The dishwasher? I can now handle that, no problem. I don’t even have to be reminded! In fact, I don’t even mind washing the pots and pans either. But right now, while the dishwasher is still doable, the pots and pans are another story. I gotta keep this thing dry and my big fat finger ain’t fittin’ in there.

Big Fat Finger

So what’s a girl to do? Zak’s been a real trooper helping me out with the two handed chores this past week, but thanks to this time problem and the fact that there are only 24 hours in the day, at least 8 of which he has to spend at work – I needed these dishes washed NOW if we wanted to eat something other than toast with sliced avocado for dinner.

Guess that means I’m gonna have to take matters into my own hands. And therein lies another problem.

So I started thinking. I’m managing to keep other things clean while I wait for my cracked carrot of a finger to heal, right?

Like clothes? I can swing it.

Butts? Only one hand needed. (Thinking mainly of someone else’s butt, although I suppose it applies to my own as well.)


Eureka that’s it! I gotta bring the pots and pans into the shower put my hand in a bag!

Problem solved.

No Problem

And it worked like a charm! You know, <begin sarcasm> plastic grocery bags are really pretty incredible if you think about it. I can’t believe I’ve ever spent a dime on rubber gloves. I think I’m gonna start selling these bags on the street! They are so valuable and versatile. I think these things just might save the world of all its problems. </end sarcasm>

So anyway yes, the kitchen is clean and now it’s time to cook. This was a very Let’s See What I Got Around Here Tonight kind of dinner, and what I had around here was squash. And lentils. And coconut milk. And curry powder.

Well I think I call that Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup, don’t you?

1 butternut squash
1/2 bag red lentils
1 8oz can coconut milk
curry powder, cinnamon, salt, red pepper – to taste

Winter Squash

Winter squash, sliced in half and de-seeded. Baked face down on an olive-oiled baking sheet at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Squash in the oven, get your lentils on the stove. I used half a bag (rinsed and drained) and 4 – 5 cups of water, brought it to a boil and then simmered with spices until soft – about 30 minutes.

Red Lentils Cooking

Done and done.

Done and Done

Once your squash is cool to the touch (or not, that might take three whole minutes and who’s got that kind of time?) peel/scoop squash away from the skin and heap about 2/3 of it into your food processor with coconut milk. You can use low fat but I used full fat because fat is my friend.

Soup Line

With the remaining 1/3 squash, preferably from the squash shaft (sorry, but you know exactly what part of the squash I’m talking about now don’t you?) chop squash into chunks to be added to your soup in just a second here.

Squash Cubes

Combine squash coconut puree with your lentils, more spices and/or a little water as needed. Slowly stir in squash chunks, simmer on low for another 10 – 15 minutes and voila! You’re done.

May I now present to you Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup?

Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup

Yes, I may. This one got a big thumbs up over here.

Thumbs Up

Problems? What problems?

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