Racing Towards Halloween
Having a child makes it far too easy to mark the changes in passing time. This year has been flying and I cannot believe Halloween is here - the official kickstart to the holidays! Last year, Lucca could barely say "Trick or Treat" and we were free to help ourselves to his candy collection. Fast forward to this year, Lucca is putting in requests for not only his own costume, but Mom's and Dad's, too, and undoubtably, will take full inventory of his candy. (No one warned us you go from having a baby to a teenager within a year!) One thing that remains consistent, however, is the annual attack of sugar and artificial ingredients. So, prior to our collective palates turning to the dark side, we are stock piling nutrients with one of my favorite healthy comfort foods - Garnet Sweet Potato Soup!
Speaking of passing time, my mom made dozens of Halloween costumes over the years, always by hand, and always at the whim of the ones she loved. Year after year, she would work tirelessly MacGyvering costumes with all her creative might. This year, her legacy continues with Lucca's costume!
Lucca is fascinated with automobiles (a trait inherited from his father) and wants to collect Halloween candy racing through the streets as Lightning McQueen from Pixar's Cars. Further, Lucca requested that I be Cruz (Lightning's trainer) and David be Jackson Storm (Lightning's arch nemesis), which, naturally, was taken with some offense.
My intention was not for my mom to make the Lightning McQueen costume, but I did ask for her expertise. The next thing I knew, she had plans drawn up, materials scouted, and was ready to start building. I could tell this was becoming a nostalgic labor of love for her, so I happily got in the passenger seat to let her drive.
Turning my mom's dining room table into an auto body shop, we constructed Lightning using the following materials:
Tin Pie Plates
Over the course of a couple weeks, the costume went from sketch, to pattern, to frame, to fully wearable car. My mom formed the body, and I created all the details. Lucca's eyes lit up at each stage of construction; he was in awe watching his beloved Lightning come to life!
The trick this Halloween was making Lightning McQueen, but the treat was crafting with my mom again (some of my fondest memories!), and exposing Lucca to teamwork, the creative process, and most importantly, family tradition. Indeed, it has been a Happy Halloween!
There is little better than healthy comfort food, am I right? Garnet Sweet Potato Soup has been a favorite of mine for years because it checks so many boxes: it's delicious, comforting, easy to prepare, packed with nutrients, naturally gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan. (Might I add, your skin will simply glow after enjoying a bowl!) This wholesome soup will fill your stomach without weighing you down and help you stock nutrients before indulging, meaning it's the perfect meal before trick-or-treating on a cold Pacific Northwest evening!
What makes this soup so nutritious and filling? It's all in the base. It is thick, luscious and velvety because garnet sweet potatoes and onions are boiled in stock until they begin to break down, and then, blended until smooth. By incorporating additional sweet potatoes, vegetables, fresh herbs, and lastly (but completely optional), Aidells Chicken Apple Sausage; Garnet Sweet Potato Soup is hearty, wholesome, and satisfying in every way.
One can usually find a batch of Garnet Sweet Potato Soup stashed in my freezer. I double the recipe knowing it freezes well, and just when my family is running on "E" (in time, energy, nutrition), I appreciate that we are just a quick thaw from savoring a healthy, comforting meal.
One last tidbit! A powerhouse of nutrients, Garnet Sweet Potato Soup is excellent for someone recovering from illness, surgery, childbirth, heartbreak - anything, really. It is a staple when I create a care package!
I have been asked for this recipe many times over the years, and for good reason. I am confident you, too, will fall in love with the delicious, satisfying, and wholesome simplicity of Garnet Sweet Potato Soup!