Kitchen Cabinet review of threats
1) The climate is going to collapse if I drive over to see my mum, so I'd better stay indoors and eat turnips for the rest of my life, except when going out to pay tax.
2) Terrorism. We'd better not say by whom, or how this particular source is a competitor ideology got up in the garments of a religion. Even though it has been documented for the last thirty years at least.
3) Banking Crisis. There's no money and there won't be for at least the next 150 years. That's not a threat - it has already happened.
4) Health scares. Did you know fat is contagious?
So pfft to any measly threat of invasion. Don't I realize that eco-famine, unpredictable violence and the Dreaded Lurgi, plus the country being flat-broke, are going to get me long before the police can suicide me for being insufficiently obsequious or out after curfew without offering them a blow-job?
I was going to suggest knitting something for comfort, but having looked at my last attempt, another suggestion might be better.
One thing restores a sense of control over the immediate threatening chaos. Soup. That is why witches make it in a cauldron. The cauldron represents the world so if you've got control over the cauldron, that's one tiny model of the world back in working order.
However, a freezing river fog has descended and if anybody thinks I'm mucking about trying to light twigs in air as wet as a haddock's handbag, they are very much mistaken. Soup will be indoors and a level of abstraction will be used to liken ordinary pans to ritual vessels.
Vegetable soup is the simplest, according to what you have laying around. I happened to have a butternut squash, four small onions and a lonely cooking apple.
The easiest way is to roast everything before it goes in the soup as this intensifies the flavour. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then lay it flat-side down in a little oil on a roasting tray. Surround with roughly-chopped onions. Roast for about 15 minutes on a high heat; remove the onions to the soup cauldron before they frazzle. Check how cooked the squash is. The chances are it will need another ten minutes, turned over on to its round side. Add the peeled apple slices at his point. Apple roasts very quickly.
When the squash and the apple are done, scoop out the soft flesh and add them to the onions, along with any oil which might be hanging around in the roasting pan. To turn them in to soup all that is needed is water, seasonings and spices to your satisfaction. You might want to add vegetable stock, depending on your tastes. (I like it).
Now, as squash can be fibrous it is preferable to liquidize the soup with a stick blender. This matters less with starchy vegetables such as carrots and potatoes which will settle for being mashed. If you use a stick blender it is important to add cold water to the veg because hot soup .... well, I'm sure some clever-clogs already worked out how hot liquid affects plastic-sleeve blenders.
You now also have a pile of squash seeds. You can have a go at planting them next spring or roast them as a snack. Wash them and pat them dry, turn them in oil and roast on a high heat for 15 minutes until about half have popped. They aren't too bad, but I can't see them challenging other snack foods. Too husky.
The purpose of the soup ritual is to provide a breathing space against the onslaught of the times. Perhaps it is an illusion, but often it seems that something, or somebody, is trying to scare us out of our wits in order to gain our acquiescence to any number of repressive measures.