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It is always important to have an alternate plan,  just in case.  We historically venture out to Royalston, MA on New Year’s Eve to show in the new year with our friends.  Their three girls are close in ages to our three sons, and they have known each other since birth.  Dawn and I have been friends since the first grade — a very, very long time ago.  But, mother nature has forced a change in plan.  We decided to postpone our festivities until tomorrow evening.  Stephen and Heather have decided to stay in New York state another day, to wait out the snow clean up.  So, that leaves only Steve, Ian and myself at home today.

I had been planning to make a soup using the butternut squash from Stephen and Heather’s last CSA winter share from the Food Project.  Who can go wrong with bacon, apple, sage, and squash?  Here are a few pictures of the process:

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Veggie and fruit peels collected for the compost bin.

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The final tasty bowl.  Sadly, I was the only one to enjoy this deliciousness.  Ian decided that he was afraid to try squash (he had never explored this root vegetable before) and Steve’s soup of choice is clam chowder (and perhaps lobster bisque….).  Their loss is my gain — soup in the freezer for another meal!

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Meanwhile, Ian made his famous (thanks to Dorie Greenspan for the creation) World Peace Cookies.  This is his favorite cookie recipe, and one that is enjoyed by all.

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Now for some fierce Scrabble — Ian usually wins, but I have plans to overthrow his reign!

Recipes:

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Bacon

adapted from How to Cook A Turkey from the Editors and Contributors of Fine Cooking

6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips

6 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice

1 small Gala apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch dice

1 1/2 T. finely chopped fresh sage leaves

1 t. kosher salt

1/2 t. pepper

4 c. chicken broth

In a 5 quart pot, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.  Increase the heat to medium high, add the squash, and cook until lightly browned.  Stir in the apple, sage, salt, and pepper and cook for about 4 minutes.  Add the broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.  Bring to a boi, reduce the heat, and cook until the squash and apple are very soft, 6 to 8 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool a little .

Add about half the bacon to the soup and puree, using an immersion blender.  Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Garnish each serving with the remaining bacon.  Enjoy.

Thanks to Ian for the great photographs, including the header photo taken today at Flint’s Pond, Lincoln, MA!

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