Oh, The Things That Happen While I'm in My Work Clothes!

POSTED: 3:12 PM Dec 24 2013   UPDATED: 11:47 PM Nov 06 2013
jaime dress

You know, I really should not be trusted with a nice suit or dress.  I seem to be determined to slowly destroy them, thread by thread.  I don't know what it is about me - but there must be a magnet inside of me somewhere attracting all the crazy!

Take tonight for example.  Things are going smoothly enough - I get to work, anchor the 5:30 newscast and then head home for my dinner break.  Craziness must have followed me.  I'm making Curried Butternut Squash Soup (recipe to follow) to go with dinner.  The squash is roasted, the onions are cut and all the ingredients are simmering in the pot.  It smells delicious in the kitchen, and I can't wait to try my first taste of this new recipe.  One last step - puree the soup.  I'm standing there in my suit, no apron but I did take my suit jacket off.  I fill the blender half way up with the soup, put the lid on tight, hold the lid down and hit on.  BAM!  Before I know it, bright orange soup is everywhere.  On the refrigerator, on the cabinets, on the stove, on the floor, on my suit pants and on my shirt.  Yes, yes - it always happens to me. 

Of course, I'm not about to change and wear one suit for 5:30 and another one for FOX at 10 p.m.  So I wipe my clothes down as best as possible, and if anyone in the newsroom is wondering right now why they smell curry, well, there you go.  (I'm just kidding, I don't think (hope) I really smell like curry)  And after a clean-up that took longer than making the soup, I finally got to taste it, and it was sooooo good!

jaime soup

{**You can find the recipe for Curried Butternut Squash Soup at the bottom of this post**)

But this is not the first time I've written about my crazy escapades in my work clothes.  My Facebook friends might remember the time I squeezed through a half-open car window to get my daughter out of the car.

My daughter and I had been out running errands and had to run home to pick up something before I went into work.  We pull into the garage, my daughter opts to stay in the car while I run inside the house, and 30 seconds later, I'm back in the garage and ready to leave.  I go to open my door and... it's locked.  Odd.  I try to open the passenger door and... it's locked.  I try to open my daughter's door and... you know by now, it's locked.  My daughter's window is open, so I reach through and try to open her door from the inside, it won't open.  Now you might be wondering if my daughter locked the doors - impossible - there's no lock switch in the back seats and she's still strapped in her car seat.  I have no idea how the doors locked - but I know my only way into the car at this point is through her open window, which is a back window so it only opens halfway.  I am in my work dress and heels at this point, so, I grab the recycle bin and turn it upside down so I can climb up on it, I kick off my heels, I hike up my dress (and pray the neighbors aren't watching), and I proceed to shimmy inside this small opening.

jaime car window 650px

Might I add, my daughter is laughing at me the entire time, especially when I practically land in her lap because her car seat is right inside the window.  After all that, crawling into the front seat was no problem!

Then there was the time my daughter and I were eating lunch at a certain fast food restaurant in town before I headed into work.  After lunch, she wants to play in the inside playground at the front of the restaurant.  She climbs all the way to the top and thinks she's stuck, so she starts crying hysterically and asks me to come save her.  I tell her 'mommy is in her work dress, honey, I can't climb to the top of the playground.'  But she just keeps crying and crying.  So I look around and hope know one recognizes me as the TV news lady, as I'm about to climb all the way to the top of this playground thing in my suit (skirt, not pants).  I try one more time to convince my daughter to climb down on her own, 'honey, you have to come down, mommy has to go to work,' and then the lady standing next to me says, "uh oh, we might not get our news tonight."  OK - recognized.  I adjust my skirt and climb up in my suit to rescue my daughter who was never really stuck at all.

These stories are certainly not the first, nor I'm sure the last, my poor work clothes will have to endure as I continue to balance work, marriage, mommyhood and life.  At least it helps keep my dry cleaners in business!

And here's that recipe I promised you.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

- 1 medium butternut squash

- 7-8 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

- salt

- pepper

- 1 Tbsp. plus 1/8 tsp. curry powder

- 1 medium onion, diced

- 1 fennel bulb, diced, fronds discarded

- 1/2 tsp. chili flakes

- 1 qt. vegetable broth

- 2 Tbsp. butter OR 1/4 cup cream

- 6 dates, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Halve the butternut squash. Remove the seeds to a medium bowl and set aside. Cover the squash with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil so that it's evenly coated and then season with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of curry powder. Roast the squash halves, skin side down, on a baking sheet for 45
minutes, until golden brown and tender throughout. Scoop the warm flesh from the skins into a medium bowl. Discard the skins.

Separate the reserved seeds from any strings or squash flesh and rinse in a colander. Return the seeds to the bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast at 350°F for 15
minutes, until golden brown.

Heat a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add ¼ cup of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Once the oil has warmed, add the onion, fennel, and a large pinch of salt. (The salt will help draw out water from the vegetables.) Adjust the heat so the vegetables are gently sizzling, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the onions to make sure they don't brown.

Once the vegetables are softened and translucent, add ? teaspoon of curry powder and the chili flakes and continue to sweat until fragrant. Add a quart of vegetable broth and the roasted squash. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until the broth takes on the flavor of the squash, about 15 minutes.

Blend the squash mixture in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth. If you desire a creamier soup, adjust the consistency by adding butter, cream, or an additional ¼ cup of broth and stirring until smooth. Taste and adjust
the seasoning. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with the chopped dates and toasted squash seeds.

(Just to note, I did not have fennel, used chicken broth instead of vegetable, did not use the dates and used milk instead of cream - and I still found this soup delicious.  I did find it a little thin and next time will not add all the broth, but keep some aside until after I put the soup in the food processor or blender and then use it for thinning if I find necessary)