Sunday we went on a ~4.5 mile walk around Big Basin, where we saw Sempervirens Falls, Shadow Brook, and a monument at the base of Slippery Rock, the site where, in the first decade of the 20th century, a few people camped for something like two years as a protest against people cutting down the redwoods and eventually successfully persuaded CA to start its state park system. We went by Andronico's on the way home to pick up food (more below), and finally watched the full recording of the debate while cooking/eating.
We basically just picked up a quart box of the "Imagine Organic" brand butternut squash soup, and enhanced it. We grabbed some coarsely shredded carrot, chopped celery, and baby corn from the salad bar -- we would've also gotten cauliflower florets, except they were all out of those -- and an onion (yellow Mayan Sweet) which got diced up as well. I started the onions sauteeing over mid-high heat (6) with some almond oil (two Tbs? enough to thoroughly coat the bottom of the pot, which was probably a 1.5 or 2 qt saucepot) and a good sprinkling of salt to draw out the moisture. I added in the carrots fairly shortly (would've put in the cauliflower here too, if I'd had it), the celery a bit after that, and once the onions were cooked fully translucent and starting to brown a bit, I added in the corn (which was really already soft enough that it didn't really need cooking). Then I mixed in some spices (a bit of cardamom and coriander, probably a quarter tsp each; and quite a good bit of nutmeg, ginger, and black pepper, maybe a half to whole teaspoon each). To deglaze a bit, I added a tablespoon or two of lemon juice (if I'd thought of it, I also would've used a Tbs of white wine -- preferably something with strong lemon/citrus notes -- mixed with a Tbs of lemon juice), and then poured in the box of soup, turned the heat down a bit (to 4), and let the soup warm up, and soak up the other flavors, for about five or ten minutes. The soup was a bit short on salt, so I added some coarse sea salt and let that dissolve in for a minute (I used standard table salt for the saute, but I like the taste of the sea salt better). Along with some toasted rosemary bread, this served three people.
It occurs to me that some nuts -- slivered almonds, halved cashews, maybe crushed pecans -- would've worked well in the soup, if I'd tossed those into the saute right at the start with the onions. Would've added some better protein, too.
ETA: If you go into my memories, there's a link to a recipe for an Asian-accented squash soup that I made a year or so ago. The method for creating the actual soupy part, which was basically just roasted squash pureed and mixed with stock, would work fine for this recipe too.
To drink, we had a spritzer of lime juice, sugar, fizzy-water (not club soda, which has sodium bicarbonate in it; this was straight carbonated water), and chambord.
And there was raspberries and cream (scooped off the top of the new milk -- yay for unhomogenized milk).
I think as much has been said about the debate as needed to be said. I'm greatly looking forward to seeing Edwards crush Cheney tomorrow evening.