Monday, December 20, 2010

Caring For The Caregivers

While My Beloved's first wife is in hospital, she is being offered in her weakened state perhaps the worst food the Bay area has to offer - hospital food. Second only to airplane food, it's terrible. Why would anyone who is ill be offered highly salted or sugared food out of cans? It makes no sense. So, her sister, her daughters, her niece, her neighbors, her friends and I are working to keep her supplied with real food, food that will actually enhance the healing process until she's sprung from that place.

To wit, roasted kabocha squash and d'Anjou pear soup that I made to deliver over to the caregivers. They are spending all day, every day at the hospital so they are exposed to crappy food, too. I had a couple of the cutest little organic kabocha squashes you've ever seen rolling around on my counter, so I put them to good use. In fact, all the ingredients I used were organic - doesn't that make sense for helping someone to heal?

Not all the soup I made fit into the container I was using so I poured the extra into a bowl and tasted it myself. Mellow as sunshine with a little herbal twist and a hint of sweetness from the onion and pears, the soup had texture thanks to the slight graininess of the pears. No wonder soup is the traditional food for invalids - it goes down easily, it's packed with vitamins and it is so pretty to even a jaded eye. Lovely. Life-giving. Delicious. To your health!

Caregivers Kabocha Soup

1 Tablespoon butter or olive oil
2 small or 1 medium kabocha squash, seeded, halved and roasted cut side down at 350 degrees on an oiled pan until easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes.
1 large onion, chopped
Fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the woody stems
2 d'Anjou pears, peeled and cored
16 ounces chicken stock

Roast squash in a 350 degree oven for about half an hour, until a sharp knife inserts easily into the squash. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt the butter and soften the onions with the thyme leaves. When the squash has cooled enough to handle, scoop out the squash flesh with a spoon and add it to the pot with the pears and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes.

Let cool, then purée in a blender. When reheating, do so slowly in a heavy bottomed pan, or in the microwave. Top with crême fraiche or chopped chives. You might want to add salt and pepper, too, as I used none.


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8 Comments:

Blogger cookiecrumb said...

You are beyond kind. Caring for the baby, making delicious meals.
I hope all is going well. Any updates?

Monday, December 20, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, she is responding well to the antibiotics and will hopefully be home for Christmas, altho' there is still no clear diagnosis and she'll be on the antibiotics IV at home for at least another month. Scary stuff.

Monday, December 20, 2010  
Blogger Pink Granite said...

You are very kind and generous.

Wishing you and your entire extended family good health and happiness.
- Lee

Monday, December 20, 2010  
Anonymous firstSTREET said...

Agreed, you are an extremely generous person. The soup sounds good too!

Become a Facebook fan for discounts on Baby Boomer products and more

Monday, December 20, 2010  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

I didn't see a halo when we met, was it being mended or something :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Lee, thanks for the merry wishes. We will be happy when it all settles down a bit.

firstSTREET, you spammin' me? If so, cut it out! If not, welcome!

Ms Mouse, there isn't one, trust me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I don't know about the halo - I thought I saw a supernatural glow coming from that side of the bay. Just saying!
Your description of hospital food reminds of the cafeteria at SFGH. I worked there for about half my stint at UCSF and the food was dreadful - salty, fatty, overcooked, greasy. All the cooks were two ton Tessies and Tonys, showing that they ate far too much of their own food. The employees were finally able to get a salad bar installed but it was still full of salads with too much mayonnaise and salt. I always brought my own lunch and was always amazed to see a long line at lunchtime.
But they did make the best fried chicken and catfish and greens.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, you were smart to bring your own - except on fried chicken day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010  

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