Last night, in between making four different recipes, washing just about every dish we own, trying to hang photos on our still-mostly-empty walls, taking the dogs out (again), talking blog strategy, ordering mundane things you only need to buy when you own a home, and about five other things, Aaron said in a short moment of pause:
“We got a lot done this weekend. But our weekends are more work than my weekdays. I’m working seven days a week.”
And I agreed. It does feel like our weekends are more go-go-go than most weekdays, which is saying something because weekdays are jam-packed and before we know it, it’s time to go to bed and do it all over again. When we were renting an apartment, I would go through nesting phases where I’d decide I couldn’t live with a certain thing any longer—it had to change now! Mostly though, I knew it wasn’t my property and I couldn’t make changes beyond painting the walls a fresh coat of white, and Aaron and I would agree that when we bought, we’d invest the time and money to make a place our own.
Except making a place your own is so. much. work. Our condo only needs superficial updates for the most part, and even then, it’s a giant time suck. We also don’t know how long we’ll be here (a post for another day), which puts me in this mental space of quasi-resenting the time and money to make those updates. I’ve dreamed of owning a home for as long as I can remember, yet yesterday I wondered if maybe home ownership isn’t for me? Too many to-dos piled on top of trying to build businesses, leaving no time to just be?
Practically speaking, I know I should prioritize and block off time for certain tasks, and I do. The problem is that there’s not enough time in the day, which means I need to either decide certain things aren’t a priority and forego them (not likely), acknowledge that it’s going to take me longer than I’d like to accomplish them (not desirable), or accept that if I do it all it’ll be go-go-go seven days a week (not sustainable).
I don’t yet have a plan of attack and I’m trying to be mindful of decision fatigue. I’m reading a book called Essentialism (slowly, like a few pages at a time) and taking each chapter to heart. I love this type of reading because it makes me re-think how I’m living, and this is what sent me down the path of “Do I really want to be a homeowner? Would it be more rewarding to have laser-focus on building a brand?”—again, I don’t have answers. I’m in the midst of a more thoughtful, big picture sort of stage where I’m saying yes to a lot of new things and evaluating whether or not I’d say yes again (this is actually very good for my anti-risk-taker inclinations, I think).
As you can imagine, on the food front I am especially grateful for fast, easy, feel-good meals. I’m betting you might be in the same boat pre-holiday craziness?
Last year for Thanksgiving, I prepared an all-raw, vegan, gluten-free feast for my family. It was spectacularly delicious, beautiful, and oh so much work! This year, I joked to Aaron that I may order in burritos, except I doubt the burrito place is open on Thanksgiving. Damn.
This pumpkin soup is my solution. Well, not this soup specifically, more like this style of eating. Roast veggies, combine with a handful of ingredients, serve. Or freeze for lunches and dinners on those days when you’re thisclose to throwing in the towel and ordering yet another burrito from the place down the street. I chose pumpkin for my soup, but butternut squash and sweet potato would be delicious too.
Simple. Grounding. Easy. Also, no decision fatigue from having to decide what to make for dinner—soup’s on!
- 5 cups cubed sugar pumpkin
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- couple pinches fine sea salt
- couple pinches freshly ground black pepper
- 1 batch (5 cups) roasted & seasoned sugar pumpkin cubes
- 2½ cups homemade vegetable stock
- 1 cup cashew milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1½ tablespoons grade b maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- sea salt to taste
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- crunchy kale chips (recipe coming soon!)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the chopped pumpkin, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to the baking sheet and toss to coat. Roast the pumpkin for about 35-40 minutes, or until tender.
- Add the roasted vegetables to a blender along with the vegetable stock, cashew milk, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and black pepper. Blend until smooth. Taste the soup and add salt if needed, then blend until fully mixed.
- Serve immediately topped with pumpkin seeds or kale chip croutons for crunch, or freeze the soup for later. To freeze, transfer the soup into freezer-safe containers (leaving a couple of inches for expansion), cool to room temperature, then cover and place in the freezer. The soup will keep for 2-3 months.
Feel free to sub in butternut squash or sweet potato for the pumpkin.
This recipe is on the sweeter side. You can reduce or eliminate the maple syrup if you'd prefer a more savory soup.
Photography by Aaron Scott
Do you ever think about simplifying your life to focus more on one goal?
I’m not sure I would actually want to do this, but when life feels overwhelming, Aaron and I will often tell each other, “Let’s just leave and go live in a tiny house.”