Thanksgiving. A holiday filled with family, food, laughter, and most of all, lots and lots of pumpkin. Fresh pumpkins lining the tops of tables and mantles, or puréed and cooked pumpkin with maple and spice and baked in the form of pies, cheesecakes, tarts, or all three laid down the centre of an extended dining table in between decorative pumpkins, surrounded by black corn and autumn's leaves.
I spent this past thanksgiving weekend back on Bowen, and the better part of two days travelling from one island to the next, via the mainland, during which I spent most of my time thinking about what it would be like back on the island where I grew up, and back in my friends familiar house, but unable to quickly pop up the hill to where we used to live. I also spent the better part of the ferry rides gazing out the window to where I thought Bowen was, terrified. Terrified of how different it would seem, and how it would feel to be among everything so familiar but changed myself with living in a new place, new people, and most of all, a completely new routine to run by.
For the most part, I spent the weekend helping to prepare thanksgiving dinner for the 32 that would sit down for dinner on Sunday night, and spending time with friends, and friends that feel like family. It was crazy for me to be surrounded by so many people, especially after it has just been us three living here, and sitting at one end of their expanded table I felt extremely special to be a part of that evening,and entire weekend, as if I just fitted in as one of the cards of a deck.
With so many sitting at the table, all the food was prepared and served on the kitchen island, where we tentatively served ourselves while keeping in mind that there were 31 other plates to fill. From the turkey platters, separated into white and dark meat, there were also trays of Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, yams, carrots drizzled in orange juice, stuffing, and home made cranberry sauce with peaches and berries. A gluten free thanksgiving dinner, thank goodness, hasn't been something I've worried about, unless you're a gravy fanatic, or stuffing-hound for that matter, it's fairly easy to say wheat free. My plate piled high with vegetables and turkey, which I generously served with cranberry sauce, and I was as happy as a turkey (not during October...). Better yet, I was treated to a pumpkin tart made from gluten free cookies, and I was dancing the night away by the time the music was turned up loud, and we dove into another round of dessert.
This weekend, we'll be heading to markets and farmer's stalls to pick up more of autumn's harvest, fresh squashes and pumpkins, as well as carrots, parsnips and potatoes, to celebrate thanksgiving with our little family here, and my uncle who's visiting from England. Yes, it will be a real harvest celebration, and I hope we can find the best, and local, vegetables to serve!
Meanwhile, we've been enjoying this comforting and delicious soup when the sun turns in, and sometimes we get slightly showered with rain. Although it's warmer here, we're inching farther and farther south, there are those typical autumn afternoons when we'd all just rather curl up with a hot bowl of soup, and a trashy novel under the blankets.
Made with fresh seasonal vegetables and a touch of coconut milk, this soup is creamy and heartening, and perfect for the middle of fall gales and storms.
Coconut Carrot Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup water
1/3 cup coconut milk, canned
In a frying pan over medium-low heat with oil, cook the chopped onion and carrots until softened, and the onions pale.
Add salt, sugar and ground coriander, stirring and cooking until the carrots are tender.
Pour in 1 cup water and 1/3 cup canned coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 10 minutes before pouring the mixture into a blender, blending in two batches to prevent any overflow. Serve with home made raw spinach pesto or a dash of coconut milk, and is also a delicious pair to slices of turkey sausage quickly sautéed!
Enjoy! xx S
Labels: carrot, coconut, cozy, dairy free, dinner, egg free, gluten free, grain free, lunch, soup