I recently spent a week in Seattle. With Austin becoming my home more and more everyday, it was time to clean out all of those things that had been sitting there, waiting for me. For the past year I have kept a storage unit filled floor to ceiling with those things I’ve deemed important. The stuffed orca whale I left behind one day in Disneyland (that I recovered after having a major breakdown in the hotel), the boxes of old pop punk band shirts, every note ever written to me in Junior High (yes, I kept all of them.)
When you find yourself surrounded by 20 years of your own history, it’s impossible to not become completely involved. I sat on my mom’s living room floor, sifting through old love letters and pictures that reminded me why returning to high school would be the worst.
While the ink covered napkin confessing love in scrawled and misspelled words from my 11th grade crush was a highlight, what really got me was my 16-year-old self listing out what I wanted in a man. Neatly written on yellow legal paper (I’ve been Type A list maker my whole life… oops) I had over two pages of what my dream man would look like, act like and be. I feel that it would be an injustice not to share the whole list with you, so here it is:
16-Year-Old Chelsea’s Dream Man
- Mix between Orlando Bloom/Johnny Depp (WHAT?!)
- Not tan, but not too white
- Light eyes, dark hair
- Toned but skinny
- Some tats
- Tall, but not THAT tall
- Straight white smile, no braces (hahahaha… kills me)
- Labret pierce/side lip pierce (pop punk, am I right?)
- No facial hair (oh how the tables have turned)
- Big lips
- Freckles on nose, light dusting (once again, I was very particular)
- Sings to me (always been a sucker for musicians)
- Makes me feel beautiful
- Can act stupid with me
- Makes me laugh
- Likes to go to parks and act like a kid
- Likes the same music as me
- Gets along with my friends
- Makes me feel good about myself
- Is smart, will go to starbucks with me and have intellectual conversations (this one is too good, had to be a Starbucks…)
- Loves concerts and Seattle and coffee
- Someone who will write me a song
- Wants to learn French and move to Paris
- Someone I can sit and read the Little Prince with.
- Loves Harry Potter (this was triple underlined… big deal)
- Will do something unique with me on Holidays
- Likes to do collages (um… what?)
It would also be an injustice to not share with you what my 26-year-old self wants in a man, because I’m already throwing my entire soul up on the internet, who cares about a little more honesty?
26-Year-Old Chelsea’s Dream Man
- A kind-hearted, strong, smart man who loves me. That is all.
I could obviously digress into a list of nitty-gritty details of what I think my dream man will look like, act like and be. When it comes down to it, I think when I find my person, my lobster, none of it will matter. My lists and preconceived ideas of who I’ll end up will fly out the window and who it is will probably surprise me. Who knows… who even knows.
Curried Butternut Squash, Carrot & Coconut Soup
My friends up in Seattle have started sharing their photos of fall. Crisp days, hooded sweatshirts and tall cups of coffee. Here in Texas it’s still in the triple digits. This makes me more homesick than I can explain. Today, after work, I went home to make soup. My comfort food, a big pot of curried vegetables and coconut milk, blended and served with a slice of rustic bread. I sat under the air conditioning and slid on my favorite wool socks, popped Ella Fitzgerald on the record player and pretended like I too was listening to the rain outside, as the grey and green melted into each other.
It’s funny how missing your favorite season can trigger such a deep homesickness.
- Spoonful of coconut oil
- White onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 butternut squash
- 6 carrots, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, chopped
- 1 can coconut milk
- 16 oz vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut your butternut squash in half, and lightly brush sides with melted coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes. While squash is cooking, warm up coconut oil in a pot over medium/low heat. When warm, add in chopped onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add in garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Add in the rest of the vegetables and let everything saute before adding in salt/pepper and vegetable stock. Put on lid and lower to a simmer, letting the juices mix together for 10 minutes. The veggies should be getting soft by now.
The great thing about soup is it’s basically just throwing everything in a pot and waiting until things are cooked to your liking before blending it together, or eating it as is. This is why I love making soup.
Once the squash is done, take it out of the oven and let cool (you can let your soup simmer while cooling.) Once the squash is cool, add in with the rest of the veggies and stock. Add in coconut milk, curry powder and turmeric (and a dash more salt, for good measure.) Let everything warm back up again for another 5 minutes and then using an immersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools) blend until you reach your desired consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend in batches using a blender.
Try and resist eating it right away as I burnt my mouth immediately (I have a blister on the roof of my mouth to prove it.) I toasted a big slice of 9 grain locally made bread ($1 for day old bread at my work… amazing) and couldn’t have been happier. Nothing screams fall like a butternut coconut curry soup… I hope the weather catches on.