curried apple butternut squash soup & other vices

99% of the time i am a staunch antagonist of tradition, commercialism, organized religion–organized anything, if we’re being honest, even bathroom drawers. of course, we’re all hypocrites, myself included. december does me no favors. how can i resist vibrant sprigs of holly for the heavy red vase on my kitchen table, a string of lights for my mantle, a real live evergreen that fills my sweet space with the smell of pine? who am i to turn down a trio of gold & white glittered tree figurines, burlap bunting spelling out the words “be merry,” & a candle votive that, when lit, glows with the message “peace & joy?”

last night found me sitting cross-legged on my living room floor immersed in more of that silliness, listening to coffee-house style christmas music, clad in black yoga pants static with dog fur & glitter as i painstakingly counted out ornaments by color & looped each one with gold thread before hanging them just so on the spiny branches. while the dog & the boyfriend were deeply engrossed in a football game, i scurried out to the walgreens down the block at an embarrassingly late hour for a tree-topping gold star & a line of sparkling tinsel. i was desperate, you see. all the while a citrus-clove candle burned on the coffee table, reminding me of the apple crumble a friend brought over for dessert earlier in the week.

today it snowed all day, slow & steady. i rose early, socked & sweatshirted to make granola with dried apples & cinnamon, the way my other half likes it. i like to eat it with hemp or almond milk for breakfast throughout the week. when it was good & toasted, i snuck out the door for a hot yoga class. my teacher was bright, full of energy & thoughtful as ever, just the way i like ’em. after, we cooked brunch for our friends–a breakfast hash, bloody mary’s, my favorite donuts & a coffee blend called peace on earth. peaceful & earthy, it was.

later i braved the snow to guide a room of bright faces through a series of postures meant to tire them out so much that their only option at the end was to relax, heavy & deep into the earth beneath them for a precious few cycles of breath. i walked around & spritzed them with a mixture of citrus & sandalwood oils, said to uplift us & an stimulate our right brains, our creative selves. “you’re a great teacher,” one new-to-me student said as she pulled her boots on after. i smiled big, ’cause it was sweet, but i learn what i know by watching my students’ bodies, which tell me what i’ve neglected to explain right the first time around. we all make each other better, for sure.

for curried apple butternut squash soup: peel, pit & cube a whole butternut squash & five small, sweet red apples. place them in the slow cooker with a tablespoon or two of robust, finely chopped winter herbs like sage &/or rosemary. dice & cook a whole yellow onion in vegetable oil. add that. sprinkle with salt, a tablespoon of curry & two teaspoons of cinnamon. add two cups of water. cook on high for a 2-3 hours & enjoy, perhaps with homemade focaccia, laced with the same herbs you seasoned your soup with, a handful of your favorite cheese & a dusting of olive oil & sea salt. this soup is warming & sweet, but with some heat, an unusual but logical combination of spices. enjoy it with someone you love on a blustery winter’s evening, if you can.

About Christina

Milwaukee-based bon vivant. Lover of food, yoga, design, good words & loving kindness.
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