Home Is Where My Pumpkin Is

It’s finally December, and that means fall is officially over (in my book anyway). I started to pack up all my pumpkins, leaves, scarecrows, and various autumnal decor to replace them with pine trees, holly berries and all my winter decorations. But before I finished I had to use my pumpkin soup bowl.

When I brought our pumpkin bowl out, Matt had me promise that we’d actually use it this year, so I made some broccoli and cheese soup to serve in it. We’ve had this pumpkin serving bowl for years.  When Matt started his graduate program at Rutgers, Camden, we rented an apartment in Collingswood. Matt never cared too much for decorations, but I was always brining new pictures or dishes or something superfluous to “homey up” the place. Matt usually thought my decorations were unnecessary.

I had the intention of attending Rutgers for my Master’s in English, but was offered a partial scholarship to Monmouth University. So instead of joining Matt at our new apartment, I stayed home to avoid the long commute. It was hard not seeing Matt every day, like we were used to, but we did see each other at least once a week.   A few months after Matt was fully moved in, I bought the pumpkin. I thought it was so beautiful. It wasn’t something from Target or IKEA, this was the first “real” and “adult” piece of decor I had ever bought; college kids have no use for soup serving dishes, after all. I spent something like $30 on it, which at the time I thought was very expensive for a serving bowl.

I brought it to the apartment a little embarrassed, knowing Matt wouldn’t like it and wouldn’t like my spending money on the apartment. My embarrassment must have shown on my face, because when I showed Matt my bowl, instead of rolling his eyes, he told me how nice he thought it was. He kept it out on his table all year because he said it was so nice and I was right, it did make the place feel homey.

Of course, it wasn’t the pumpkin that made the apartment feel homey. I always felt at home in that tiny, one bedroom apartment because Matt was there. It didn’t matter that the appliances always broke or that the kitchen was too small for two people. It was where my Matt lived, and where I wanted to be. I like to think that he kept the pumpkin out because my decorations, as unnecessary as he claimed they were, reminded him that I wanted him to feel comfortable and cozy even though I couldn’t be there.



 To this day Matt says the pumpkin bowl is his favorite piece of decor. I know he doesn’t care either way about my bowl or other decorations (and I have A LOT of decoration), but I love that he pretends to. This year, he made me promise to actually USE the pumpkin bowl. After so many years, this actually was the first time I used the bowl! Don’t worry, now that it’s officially broken in, I’ll use it every year.

 Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe:

4 tbs butter
1 onion
1lb bag frozen cut broccoli
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1lb processed cheese
1/3 cup corn starch

Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté onions.
Add broccoli and cook with onions until defrosted.  
Add 3 cups broth, milk and the cheese and let the cheese melt.
Dissolve corn starch in the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth.
Add cornstarch mix into soup and heat through.

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