Thursday, 2 October 2008

Dubious roasted butternut squash soup with ginger and smoked paprika

I promised to make soup for some people this week, and today I got round to it. If only I had read the recipe before requesting the ingredients...

I had about 2kg of butternut squash, which is OK for about 10 people. Unfortunately, I needed to do soup for about 20. Had I read the recipe I could have requested more - as it is, I used extra fried onions and a bit too much liquid. It may be less filling than usual.

The squash itself tasted really weird when it came out of the oven - I did not think I could produce anything worth eating out of it. However, with careful seasoning (smoked sweet paprika can be miraculous), it seems to taste OK.

Oh dear. This blog is turning into a chronicle of the wonderful, wholesome crafts I have produced, along with too few instructions to be helpful. All I need is a more homely design and some photographs and I am set. What makes me more uncomfortable is that this has become a theme so quickly, and that I have scarcely even started making Christmas presents - it may well get worse.

I think that this is evidence of how deep a rut I have got myself into. Additionally, my lung capacity has ceased to improve; it has actually started to deprove a bit. I am wary of racing up any climbing walls until that sorts itself out* - I have no desire to leave in an ambulance.

Also, I do not have a life, so there is nothing else to talk about. Tomorrow you may hear about the conditioner I made.** Today I am going to tell you about my new soap. Not the really interesting one, which did set after all, but is the most playdough-like soap I have ever met and will undoubtedly warp like a yoga teacher*** on its way to drydom. No - today I made paprika soap.

The idea behind it is that it is both impressively coloured and exfoliates gently. No doubt it will also change the water into interesting colours ("Help! She's been murdered!") and leave a nasty sediment on the bottom of the bath. Mother wonders if it will turn people's faces red. I wonder if anyone still washes their face with soap. She assures me that she and Nana do. I assure her that they will not be getting any of my paprika soap. She says that red is a bit of a stupid colour for a soap anyway.

It may also smell a little dodgy - paprika is not a classic soap scent. I also added ground cinnamon, coriander seed and cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla scent, honey powder and shea and cocoa butter. So far it smells great (which is an achievement for any soap containing either of those fragrances - they really ming. I was counting on them ageing well), but we shall see... Additionally, it may be brown rather than red. I think that if I call it red I may be able to convince people; if I do not, they might make up their own minds, which I do not want happening.

I really should go into advertising - I can see a dazzling future for me.

So that is waiting to set and be cut, which will happen tomorrow evening. I am very interested to see what colour it goes when it is cool, set and dry. I'm sure that you are, too. If I were to upload photos of it, you would be able to see. I think that my camera charger is in my spare room...

*Sometimes the routes are easy; it is anathema to me to climb them slowly. I have to climb them faster than everyone else, so that I win.

**I may have got my tenses mixed up a little here: I will have made it tomorrow.

***Or I could leave the creative similes until I am awake.

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