I’m hot (unlike my ovens); that means I’m really, really, angry. There’s a backstory to the ovens, well all of the appliances, in this house that is a little bit much for a blog post. I’m sure you don’t want to read it.
Oh, you do?!?! Well, great, because I feel like spilling it.
And before I start fielding the comments of, “Oh, you should be grateful you have a home!” and, “You shouldn’t complain!” Just let me cut you off at the pass by saying, I have not only dealt with living in poverty, I have struggled in my past with just having enough food to eat, so I get gratitude and appreciation. I get it, but I, just like you, need to vent every once in awhile. So, be a dear, grab me some chocolate, cuddle on the couch with me and allow me.
When we moved to this duty station in 2014, it was 8 months after my mother passed away. I was my mother’s (Mami, is what we call her) daughter/full-time caregiver/bestie and she lived with us for the last five years of her life. She was our rock, so her death, while expected, broke our hearts. The Army (God bless its heart), decided it was the perfect time to move us from the east coast to Texas. Less than 24 hours after rolling through the gate here at Fort Hood, my husband received a call that he was going to deploy to Kuwait in a month. A month. Like, an old school Army month.
That’s the scene.
Have you ever found, purchased and moved into a house in a month…while grieving…and homeschooling?!?! Let me walk you through it, you know, in case you ever decide to do it.
We found a home that we liked with a few exceptions. I wasn’t in love with the kitchen- which is basically my room- nor did I like how it was a two story or the fact that the communal mailbox was right in front of our house. All kind of small things (minus the kitchen), but I was willing to compromise- if, and only if, the builder agreed to switch out the black appliances for stainless steel. I mean, I needed to be happy with at least one thing in that kitchen. So, we walked into the builder’s model home and laid out our wishlist.
He said, “No.”
I said, “Peace out.” I got up to leave and he said, “Okay, okay! I’ll do it, but for an added cost”
We shook on it, signed the contract and waited. And waited. Our saintly friends were hosting us, a family of four, but the close proximity was wearing on all of us. We needed to get into our home so we could get settled before the soldier had to leave. We were stressed. Closing was pushed back three days. I yelled…and cried. A lot. Finally, we signed for our house and began the frantic move in. There was a dent in my oven. I started wondering if I received new ovens. My heart sank. I think I got got (that means I was taken for a ride).
Fast forward to this week, and the source of my rage. Sporadically, I was getting an error code on the ovens when I turned them on. It usually resolved itself, but this time, my ovens would absolutely not turn on. Check the date, friend. It’s the month of Thanksgiving. A two year old oven (not a cheap one either) should not NOT work. It just shouldn’t. So, I called our insurance peoples. They send out a repairman and guess what homeboy says?!?! “Unfortunately, Mrs. Rivera, it’s going to be two weeks before I get the part in; probably another week until it’s repaired.”
Say, what now?!?
Two. Weeks. Two weeks. Without an oven. Me. It’s like I go into mini-convulsions when I think of it. I would normally cook in situations like this, but everything I want to cook requires…you’ve guessed it…an oven. Damn it to hell. Damn it ALL to hell!
So, that brings me to today. A rainy, drearily grey day. Like, a “when dove’s cry” day. The heavens are mourning my ovens with me. I’m here; oven-less and hungry.
Obviously the only things I can make are stovetop, crockpot or griddle meals; I guess that will be my challenge for the next TWO WEEKS!!!! (I’m trying to be a big girl, I really am)
Thankfully, I have pumpkin puree that was already roasted in my traitorous ovens. At least that’s done. So, on this sad day, soup is the perfect answer. Curried-Pumpkin soup is even more of a perfect answer because it’s a warm, jovial-looking soup. It’s a hug… I need a hug.
Here’s the recipe. I don’t want to talk anymore. Just hold me.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup yellow onion, minced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 lb pumpkin puree (or 1 can packed pumpkin)
- 1½ cup coconut milk
- 1 bunch chopped cilantro leaves
- toasted pumpkin seeds
- In a medium stockpot or dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over med-high heat.
- Add the garlic and onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, spices and seasonings and bring to a boil.
- Add the pumpkin puree and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Place the coconut milk into a bowl.
- Remove the soup from the heat, and temper the coconut milk by adding a slow stream of hot soup into a bowlful of coconut milk whilst stirring constantly.
- Pour the milk mixture back into the pot of soup, stirring to mix well. Heat to steaming.
- Pour into serving bowl and garnish with cilantro and pumpkin seeds.