Squash Soup . . .

What happened on Steffler drive had a lot to do with the kitchen.

It was first year with the Gryphons & I was running home after ski practice. A few blocks down the road, I heard a second set of ski poles tapping the pavement.

"I'll run with ya back to rez," said Brian. "I can catch the #12 bus back from there."

"Sweet man," I replied. "Dude, I am going to eat all the food in Mountain Caf tonight."

"Ha ha. Sounds good Stevo. My room mates are making a shephards pie right now. It'll be waiting for me when I get back."

We ran a little more as I silently thought to myself, "That's awesome. Someday, I hope I can live in a cool house like that."

At the end of 2nd year there was an opening in the infamous #94 Steffler Drive Ski Chalet. My prayres had been answered.

On evening, after a few solid roller ski sessions, and a little reading, Brian asked me if I felt like making soup.

"Totally man. I just need to finish reading this thing."

Once eight rolls around, we head out the door for some grocery shopping, & with No Frills Bags in hand, we're back by 8:30.

"Now Stevo, the first thing you've gotta know about good soup is it takes a good stock. It's all about the stock."

I took Brian's skiing & cooking words as gospel, as he seemed to be very good at both. The beginning of each and every conversation had me thinking, "Ok, this is it. Here's where he'll tell me the secret to cooking, or perhaps skiing."

This time around, we were making chicken stock. So, the chicken:

It can really be be any part of the chicken, & for stock you can usually acquire some cheap old scraps from the butcher. The back is perfect, they generally throw that out anyhow. I believe we found 4 for about 50 cents.

The pot: Make it a big one. We're making it all happen in this sucker. Throw down the backs & start 'em sizzl'n. Sizzle it up for some flavour. No need for any oils. There's plenty of fat on the meat.

The veg: a few onions, a few carrots, some celery, & if you so desire . . . Garlic. Dice 'em up. Nothing fancy here, just make 'em smaller.

The herbs: You like thyme? I like thyme. Thyme it is.

SEASON.

"Stevo, taste this."

"Really? Me? ok? I think it needs more of both S&P."

"I think so too."

Now we let the flavours get friendly. It's a happy pot, so we'll let 'em mingle on medium.

In goes the water. Now we let it simmer, not boil, just simmer.

"A boil will make the stock cloudy."

I thought to myself. "This is awesome. These are just the things I've been wondering about."

Ok, time to hit the books again. This'll take about 2 hours, so I have time for another good read.

"You ready to go Stevo?"

"Yep, let's give'r."

"Ok, we need to strain it first, then let it cool. Once it's cool, we collect & reserve the fat from the top."

Done.

11:30pm & we have a good chicken stock. I also have 2 chapters in the bag. Savoury.

"Ok dude, now it's time for the squash . . . ."

"Sounds good."

Rest well.