Have I ever told you how back in high school a nun almost busted me for smoking behind the school?
Yeah. I didn’t think so. Sorry, Mom! I don’t think I ever told you either! Ummm…. probably because I valued my life?
True story. I went to this very small Catholic high school in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, there was a total of 39 kids in my graduating class. And there wasn’t a lot to do in this little place, so you can imagine how we had to make our own fun.
This little school clearly trusted us too much. We had a senior lounge down in the basement by the cafeteria. It had couches, a television, and a coke machine. We were allowed to hang out there during lunch and study hall. SENIORS ONLY! It was totally isolated in the afternoon which just opened the door to teenage shenanigans. We used to sneak out all the time. Most of us had cars, so we would all jump in someone’s car and take off to scandalous places like Wendy’s, the pizza joint or the corner store. Although the corner store is where we bought our smokes.
Right. I was confessing about smoking. So, my friend Mary Beth and I were hanging out in the senior lounge. And because high school is soooooo dang hard we decided we needed a smoke break. There wasn’t enough time before our next class to actually get in the car, fire up a couple of Virginia Slims menthol foot-longs, drive around the block, and head back to school.
Well, of course we did the next best thing. We snuck out the back door of the cafeteria, fired up the foot-longs, leaned our tired selves against the building in our plaid skirts, cardigans, knee socks, and penny loafers, and blew out a plume of smoke in satisfaction. Ahhhhhh!
Then the door opened.
Fortunately, we had the good sense to be on the side of the door that hid us behind it as it opened. And thank goodness that Sister Celeste was about 100 years old and kind of….well, old? We saw her black habit peek out the door, sniff the air, give a hmmp, and go back inside. You can imagine the relief we felt.
Ahhhh. High school. There’s just something about the fall, pumpkins and butternuts, football season, and cooler weather that just sends me back in time to the days of innocence (ok not so innocent?) and carefree comfort of having no responsibilities. The perfect time of year for silly memories and comforting soup.
P.S. Dont’t judge me. Y’all will be glad to know that I no longer smoke Virginia Slims foot-longs or any other carcinogen.
- 2 small pie pumpkins
- 1 butternut squash
- 3-4 large carrots
- 2 onions
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3-4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cups heavy cream plus another 1/4 cup or so for serving
- pistachios and sour cream to garnish optional