Blessing my home 25 years later – by Sister #3


In 1998 I decided to give up apartment living and buy a house. My mom was helping me look and we hadn’t seen many places when we came across my house. On a lovely tree lined street in little Italy, its location was perfect.  I had lived most of my adult life in Osborne Village and wanted to stay central but also wanted a less transient neighbourhood with some history.

The house had good bones. Built in 1904 it had a solid foundation, level floors, and straight walls. But I had to look beyond the surface appearance to discover what the house truly had to offer. The fellow who lived in my house was a slob. The place was a mess. It had been on the market a while and he had obviously grown tired of putting in any effort in preparation for showings. The place reeked of cigarettes and cat pee. His furniture was sparse, tattered and covered in cat hair. Besides being dirty, the house was painted stark white and lacked decoration, so had absolutely no personality.

Worst of all there had an alter of plywood and cinder blocks in the upstairs box room, covered in items that indicated the owner was worshiping something that I would never invite into my house. I remember the look on my real estate agent’s face when we entered that room. I’m sure he thought he wasn’t making a sale that day.

But there was something about the place that showed me it was going to be my home. The pitch of the 3/4 story second floor ceilings felt like a cozy hug, the high fluted baseboards and door jams with their corner carved medallions showed that this house was built with love and pride of ownership. The large windows filled the place with so much light. I knew she had potential. So I put in an offer and got a great deal on the place.  

The day I took possession my friend and pastor, Merv met me at the house in order to walk from room to room, blessing it and ridding it if any spirits that may have been left behind. The owner hadn’t bothered to move most of his things out of the house, including his make shift alter.  Merv tore it all apart and hauled it to the garbage, cleansing my house so I could start to rebuild it on a new spiritual foundation, fill it with colour, and beautiful things, and restore its personality. 

Recently I hosted a dinner party and invited Pastor Merv, his wife Susan and another couple of our friends to my home for dinner. I wanted to celebrate 25 years in my home. I love my little house and all the memories she holds. All the celebrations, and sleepovers, all the deck visits over cups of tea. That night we had a lovely time reminiscing about my first day in the house.

Anyway, this is a food blog so here’s the recipe for the soup I served as my first course for our dinner party. Hope you enjoy. 

Butternut squash soup 

Makes two litres 

1 large butternut squash cubed approx. 8 cups

1 yellow onion cut into medium dice

2 large carrots peeled and cut into large dice

2 garlic cloves peeled

3 Tablespoons butter melted

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon curry powder

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ cup apple juice

3 ½ cups vegetable stock

6 oz cream

½ cup pumpkin puree

2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger pulp 

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Place butternut squash, onion, carrots, and garlic on a parchment lined sheet pan. Combine melted butter, olive oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, curry powder, kosher salt and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle it over the butternut squash mixture and toss until everything is coated. Roast at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

Once cooked and cooled, spoon vegetables in batches into blender with enough apple juice and broth to process. 

Pour into large saucepan on medium heat. Add ½ cup pumpkin puree, any remaining juice or broth, ginger pulp and cream. Stir until well combined and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Serve and enjoy.

Kath’s quote: “Our house is a very, very, very fine house. With two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard.
Now everything is easy ’cause of you
.”-Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Love never fails.

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