My friend Kasey over at Turntable Kitchen recently reminded me of something: the importance of availability when it comes to friendships. She succinctly sums this up in her latest post and it really made me think about my own availability, or sometimes lack thereof, for my friends.
In the past couple years I’ve experienced a couple pretty traumatic events. And, per usual, they just seemed to come one right after another. People I would never suspect were there for me without fail. Some of the friends I would normally call for anything, weren’t.
This was a tough pill to swallow.
Out of sheer disappointment and hurt, I judged these friends. I backed off and was much more unavailable to them. And, I even stopped communicating entirely with a few. This was a wise move in some cases but, in others, I realized I couldn’t hold people to the same “friendship standard” that I tried to maintain.
And, I’ll admit, no matter how much I wanted some sort of “retribution” for their lack of availability to me when I needed them most, the only person it ultimately hurt was me.
I’ve had some fun news to share with close friends lately and realized how much I’ve missed some of these people. How our bond still remains after time spent apart. And, that no matter how unavailable they may have been, they’re always there … in their own way.
Thyme-Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
2 3-4 pound kabocha squash, sliced in half, seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon thyme
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth/stock
1 tablespoon sage
1 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the sliced and seeded kabocha squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme and season with salt and pepper. Turn so the interior is facing down and cover loosely with foil. Roast for about an hour, or until the flesh is soft. Let cool slightly.
In a stock pot or dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the diced onion. Stir to coat the onions with oil and let cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the garlic clove and let cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the flesh from the squash and add to the pot. Add the chicken broth and sage and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for about 20 minutes, partially covered.
Remove from the heat and the add milk. With an immersion blender or working in batches with a stand blender, purée the soup until a very smooth consistency is reached. Add the butter and let melt, stirring to combine. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper, if needed.