Saturday, October 9, 2010

510: book club

Two nights ago I hosted book club at our home, a little mussed, quite humble, but always so good. After they left, I confessed to Ryan that even after the minnow is born, I certainly want to continue on with the monthly tradition of book club--I need it, in fact--because even though I am having a little girl, she will not be able to provide that estrogen-time I will so direly need.

We read the eerie We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is incredibly heavy on the development of an unstable narrator. I read it long ago, as an undergraduate, in a class called Weird Books by Women, and I adored it then. I still skated through my reading, though I think one thing that has ruined my reading since then is the seeking of a "twist," which clearly wasn't the point of this slim novel. (I forget things, including book plots, very easily, so reading this again was as if reading it for the first time. This can make for awkward conversation if someone asks if I've read something and I say yes, because I cannot carry on an accurate review with that recently-read companion as all has leaked from my brain, love it or not. And pregnant? Forget it. I can barely remember if I shampooed and conditioned my hair halfway through the shower.)

Another quirk of mine is that I tend to vacillate in interests and sometimes, something I love more than anything in the world, must remain dormant. (Love for friends and family and pets and home and whatnot somehow escapes this categorization; perhaps what I mean is what-I-do-with-my-spare-time that can come and go in strong pulses.) I had been knitting myself into a wrist brace and frustrated with graduate school, but upon settling into the sofa, a deadline for reading my book club book, the hunger for devouring books like some great Godzilla rose up within me again. I suppose those fiber projects will collect a bit of dust while I read myself into a coma. I managed to finish Dave Eggers' Zeitoun after the ladies departed, which is a narrative of one family surviving Hurricane Katrina, told very much in a New Yorker piece style. I also started a 42-disc book on CD (My Life by Bill Clinton) yesterday and managed to not flip between The Current and the book as I had with the last two, in true ADD-style.

Our dinner--
Vegan Butternut Squash Soup:


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 small or one large butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a large soup pot, sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil until onions turn soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the squash and stir just to coat, then add the vegetable broth and sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Allow to cook for at least 25 minutes, or until squash is soft.

Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash the squash until smooth, or, alternatively, you can puree the soup in a food processor or blender.

Stir in the soy milk and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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