I really tried to take advantage of my time home with the boys to do some of the activities we never get around to doing. Like the Maritime Museum. We've been living here for years and never explored the museum, which I knew Thatkid would love.
The museum consists of 11 different ships - those powered by wind, steam, fuel, and two different submarines.
The submarines were Thatkid's favorite. And the ones that made me the most nervous. I didn't realize it until I got down inside, but I'm a little claustrophobic!
Not to mention that crawling through small holes with a baby strapped to your chest is probably not the easiest thing in the world.
My favorite ship was The Star of India, which I sold to Thatkid as a "Pirate Ship" even though she spent most of her life hauling emigrants between Europe and New Zealand, which is what the exhibits in the ship portrayed.
Although the lodging situation within the ship were less than ideal, it was interesting to compare them with those in the subs! They seemed like a spacious ocean liner in comparison.
It's hard to believe fall is right around the corner, given that the temperatures here have been in the 90s and 100s lately. But the pumpkin patches have already started hanging their shingles and Halloween costumes are popping up in stores. I'm ready. MORE than ready. I want the cool weather, the changes in leaves (to the extent we get them), and all the fun that fall has to offer - apple picking, pumpkin patching, and dressing up to get candy! And of course. Squash! Pumpkin squash, acorn squash, butternut squash - 'tis the season! And in an attempt to usher in the fall, this is the perfect fall soup, making use of autumn's finest ingredients - squash, apples, and pears!
Butternut Soup with Pear, Cider, and Vanilla Bean (From a Homemade Life)
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups cubed butternut squash
2 pears, peeled, cored, and cubed
1 onion peeled and chopped
1 cup apple cider
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup half and half
1 vanilla bean
- Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the squash, pears, and onion and stir to coat with oil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and transparent and the pears are starting to fall apart.
- Add the cider and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the broth, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the mixture, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, until the squash is tender.
- Using a blender in small batches, puree until very smooth. Return the soup to stockpot and add the salt.
- Continue to cook, uncovered until the soup has reduced to about 1/2 to 1/3 its original volume. Stir occasionally.
- While the soup is reducing, put the half and half in a small saucepan.
- Using a small knife, scrape the tiny black seeds out of the pod. Scoop the seeds and the pod into the saucepan with the half and half and warm it over low heat, swirling occasionally, until it steams. Pull it from the heat, remove and discard the pod. Whisk to break up any clumps of seeds. Set aside.
- When the soup has reduced to your desired thickness, stir in the infused half and half. Taste adn adjust the seasoning as necessary.