Even before Chilebrown reminded me that one can use a Weber grill as an oven, I had decided to try roasting more than a chicken in mine. Chilebrown is my teacher for all things Weber, and he is truly an oracle - he knows Webers!
I wanted to make kabocha squash soup for new mother Katie and her support team who are helping her and new father Andre through the first weeks of parenthood. Happily, they have a long list of female family members, experienced hands who are happy to come and assist for the reward of a smile from Katie and a cuddle with young Miles. Not having been born with the mothering gene, I can at least cook for them, right?
Armed with my biggest knife, the junior machete my Hawaii brother gave me, I halved my squash, then placed the two halves cut side down on a square of doubled up aluminum foil, and placed those, not over the coals but off to the side of my Weber grill. It got pretty hot in there with the lid down - my thermometer registered 450 degrees F at one point, so the squash was done in about half an hour. I tested it with a sharp knife that slid right in.
Then, I loaded up a wicker basket with the squash, an onion, some thyme, organic chicken broth, a bottle of olive oil, two white nectarines, and salt and pepper. No, not a picnic; rather, a trip next door to borrow a big kettle and some flame from my neighbor's wonderful Wolf stove. Doreen doesn't mind if I mess up her kitchen for a good cause - and she has wonderful cooking vessels! Her stove is a dream - I'm hoping mine will be as wonderful once it arrives!
While I softened the onion and nectarines (skin and all) in olive oil with the thyme, Doreen and her tiny mother Doris regaled me with stories of movies they had recently seen and a fashion show of the clothes they had just bought for Doris. Then I added the soft squash and the chicken broth, a little s&p, and let it all simmer together for about 20 minutes before zizzing it smooth with Doreen's stick blender.
We each tasted the resulting soup; Doreen liked it so much that when I offered her some, she had her storage container out in record time. It was a bright golden yellow with little flecks of dark nectarine skin and pepper - very pretty! The rest went into the fridge until I was able to deliver it to the new parents the next day.
I like the idea that I made baby food. From me, into Katie and, thus, into little Miles. I may not be the ideal caregiver for a baby but I'm glad I could contribute second hand.