This holiday is messing with my head! And My Black Friday Dilemma

It’s Wednesday, but there’s no choir.  My husband will be home tomorrow, but it’s not Friday, so I can eat all the bacon I want (funny enough, I had none today).  Dessert was Halloween candy, so no recipe there, but here’s a recipe for our traditional Thanksgiving Eve dinner, with a little twist this year.  The twist is courtesy of our Italian-flavored menu for tomorrow, which is why we have a little extra Italian sausage to be used.  I like this recipe because it’s cooking in installments for a busy day.  I can get the squash cooking when I leave for errands on a busy day, come back and do the next step, walk away some more, and so on. 

Butternut Squash Soup with Italian Sausage

1 medium butternut squash
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp curry powder
2 T lemon juice
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T butter
2 c chicken stock
1/4 c white wine
1/2 lb loose Italian sausage

Prick the outside of the squash and cook it in the slow cooker (add no liquid!) for 4 hours on high.  Remove the squash and allow to cool enough that you can handle it.  Slice the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.  Then, scoop out the soft flesh and place in a blender along with the ginger, curry, and lemon juice.  In a small pan over medium-high heat, place the onion and salt.  When onion browns around the edges, add olive oil and butter and stir frequently until onion is golden brown.  Add contents of pan and chicken broth  into blender.  Puree until smooth and pour back into the slow cooker on warm.  In the pan used for the onions, brown the Italian sausage, making sure to break it up into small pieces as it cooks.  When the sausage is cooked through, add wine to the pan to deglaze.  Simmer over medium-high for 3-5 minutes,  then stir into the slow cooker.  Serve whenever you’re ready to eat! 

Ah, now for Black Friday… it’s Friday, so there’ s that call to abstain from meat (see “My alabaster jar is full of popcorn shrimp“).  However, before Vatican II, the American bishops lifted the obligation to abstain from meat for the Friday after Thanksgiving, because they didn’t want people to be poor stewards of their Thanksgiving leftovers.  Makes sense–for back then.  Also, this Friday is the feast of my confirmation saint, St. Catherine of Alexandria.  Our family usually celebrates each family member’s patron saint day, and often we’ll go out to dinner if we can.  When my husband’s feast day, St. Joseph, has fallen on a Lenten Friday, we’ve gone out for steak with the local bishop’s blessing.  It was such a special way for us to really taste how much of a celebration we should have for those people who have gone before us and still point us in the right direction–Jesus. 

But still… it’s Friday!  I’m all a-scruple!

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About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at erinmccolecupp.com .

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