|SHOO FLY PIE: It's real!|
Well jeez, there's a lot to recap here. Let me begin with a belated Thanksgiving-themed aside. I mean, giving thanks should not be a seasonal gesture. But this post does involve squash, cinnamon, and cranberries, so it probably has a hint of seasonality to it anyways.
I went back home for the entire week of Thanksgiving, and I think the best way to summarize the trip is to be thankful for a large number of people, places, and opportunities. I am thankful for quality time with family. For getting to have a little chat with my great grandfather. For running a 5k with my sister. For the memories and stories shared while browsing my great grandmother's jewelry. For old friends, especially when hanging out is just like it used to be. For random care packages full of apple butter from lovely people. For cooking with old pals and teasing a corgi. For the beauty of the Valley and Ridge. For the continued growth of my favorite hometown market. For the store that employs grandmas to bake their shoo fly pies just right. For my three year old nephew, who distracted everyone from my weirdo veggie sausage at the Thanksgiving dinner table with his bowl of cereal with a side of hot dog. :)
And on a less vacation-y note: I am thankful for my husband, who loves and encourages me 110%. I am thankful for my cat's continued antics and my dog's ability to melt my heart at least a hundred times a day. I am also thankful for my job, where my co-workers make it fun every day, even though we work in a sunless dungeon. And thanks to you, for reading my blog!
Now I will talk to you about some soup, because we all know I love soup. Well, I guess it is more of a stew... woo variety? :)
This recipe was first made possible by the thoughtful nature of my sister in law. Backstory: there was a totally amazing cold salad served at my wedding with israeli couscous and grapes in it. Since she's a whiz in the kitchen, my darling relative went home and recreated it. Once she sent me the recipe, I was all about making it. There was one problem: I could not find the giant couscous anywhere! Cue the care package full of couscous. My hero! I believe it is now available at one of the more upscale grocers in the area, under the name of pearl couscous. So go make some tasty stew full of seasonal goodness. If you can't find the cute couscous, I recommend orzo or ditalini (a favorite pasta in our kitchen -- it's so cute!). We also make this with dried cranberries, but I'll bet dried cherries are super amazing too. I think when I grow up we'll be sure to serve this at our Thanksgiving dinners. :)