I may not read very many comics, but I adore film and tv adaptations of them. Through the years, I’ve set up my tent firmly in the Marvel camp, in the competition between Marvel and DC Comics. This is generally because I think they make better movies, but also because they have better female representation. I’m not saying they’re doing a fantastic job (I mean, can we PLEASE have a Black Widow movie already?), but for the most part they’re doing better than DC.

the flash

While I enjoy Marvel adaptations more than DC adaptations, I was more than willing to give The Flash a try. Only five episodes in, and I have very mixed feelings about this show/story. I like Barry Allen, as it turns out. He’s kind of mopey, but he’s smart and sweet and all those good things a hero should be. Very few flaws, which is totally unrealistic, but I feel like he’d be a fun person to hang out with. He has room to grow. I also like the set-up for the story, mostly because there’s lots of science-gone-wrong involved. I like that scientists are main characters. I LOVE Jesse L. Martin (secretly I’m hoping one of the meta humans will start walking around making everyone sing just so I can hear his voice). But I have two very specific problems with this show.

First, the portrayal of “nerds” as borderline-annoying brainiacs with very few social skills grates on my nerves. This is one of several tropes that absolutely drive me crazy. Just because you’re smart, and you really like science, does not mean you have no social skills. This is a myth that needs to end. It’s part of the reason I stopped watching The Big Bang Theory.

But the trope I really want to talk about is the one that Iris falls into. I don’t know the name of it, but if you do – please let me know in the comments. After my praise of Marvel comics, I must admit that Mary Jane of Spider-man also falls into this trope. Iris and Mary Jane are trophy girls. They’ve been in the hero’s life for a really long time, and he loves her, but she is completely oblivious, yet everything she does is for him is written to get a reaction from him. I’m going to focus on the specifics of Iris’s character, but I’m sure you’ll be able to see the parallels with Mary Jane.


(Isn’t Barry Allen adorable though?)

Iris suffers from a severe lack of agency. Everything she does is either for The Flash, or written in a way that gets a reaction from The Flash. She never does anything for her own reasons, it is ALWAYS tied to The Flash.

Exhibit A: She’s his best friend, yet has no idea that he’s been in love with her since the beginning of time.

Exhibit B: She starts dating her dad’s partner, not because the guy is particularly interesting, but because the writers want Barry to feel sad that he can’t have her.

Exhibit C: She does school? Maybe? And works in a coffee shop? Supposedly she’s into journalism. But we don’t really know what she does with her time when Barry is not pining after her to her face.

Exhibit D: She’s obsessed with writing a blog about The Flash.

Exhibit E: When The Flash confronts her about the blog and asks her to stop writing it, she confesses that she’s been writing it for Barry (a.k.a. The Flash) to prove that the impossible is possible.

Beyond these things, we don’t know anything about Iris. We don’t know what she likes, what she hates, what she wants to do with her life, why she gives a damn about her dad’s partner. I mean, really, who is that guy and why should we care about him? He doesn’t really have any agency either, for that matter.

This is lazy writing. Comic book heroes get reinvented all the time, so why can’t the other characters in the story? [Edited: misleading comment from Wikipedia page on the various iterations of Iris’s character] Seems simple enough to give her some agency and her own purpose in the story outside of how she affects Barry Allen and/or The Flash, don’t you think? I mean, right now Iris is the most boring character on the show, aside from the detective she’s dating. This is mostly because we don’t know anything about her, or what she wants for herself. We know plenty about what she wants for her best friend the superhero, but she is painfully two-dimensional.

It is early days for The Flash, and Iris has plenty of time to become more interesting on her own (a friend of mine hinted at some things from episode 6 that I haven’t seen yet because I don’t watch things when they air that could bode well for her). I have hope.

But that doesn’t make me any less tired of seeing this same thing over and over again: female love interests in comic book stories that are merely a prize for the hero to win after many trials and tribulations, whose desires and goals in life are meaningless unless they are also tied to the hero.

When something is adapted to film or TV, what’s the point of doing it if you can’t at least try to make it better or different than the original?

This post is for graduate students, people contemplating graduate school, and people who want to understand what their graduate school friends are going through.


from PHD Comics


Graduate school is hard. This, hopefully, is not a surprise. But it’s difficult to understand how hard it really is without going through the experience.

The end of the semester is rapidly approaching, and thus I find myself on an emotional roller coaster. I have a thousand and one things to do, and they all feel like they needed to be done yesterday. I have a lot of feelings about attending graduate school, why I chose to go, why I’m still here. It’s complicated. But I’m writing this post for people who are still thinking about going back to school, so they can make informed decisions, at least about the emotional side of things.

I feel the need to explain that I am in graduate school for geology, and the logistics of how that works. First off, geology, like most sciences, is generally a paid graduate program. You are there either on a research or teaching assistantship (I’m here on a TA), and so you are getting paid to do one of these two things, and your tuition is waived. I don’t get paid much, but I essentially don’t have the stress of worrying about how I’m going to pay for this education in the present or future (although, I do have student loans from my undergraduate degree, so I am not without a significant amount of debt – I just don’t have to worry about paying it right now). This is, of course, different for non-science graduate programs. Some are paid for, some you must pay for yourselves – there are many different ways to go about graduate school. Paid or unpaid, both have their benefits and drawbacks. I, for instance, don’t have to pay for what I’m doing, and I am indeed paid to teach and do research. But this means I am both attending school and working a normal-ish job, so my workload is a bit higher than it would be if I didn’t have to teach.

As a geology graduate student TA, I have to take a minimum of 24 course credits, plus at least 6 thesis credits, during my time here. I am on the semester system, so I teach/grade for two classes each semester (right now it’s Geology 101 lab and grading for Historical Geology/Earth System History, for those who wish to know). I may only have 6 thesis credits required, but the actual time it takes one to complete a thesis is much greater than that. Theoretically, this must all be done within 2 years (and I mean full years, not 2 academic years – I get to use my summers as well).

On top of all teaching and taking classes, I must also produce a thesis project for my Masters of Science degree. Hours upon hours of research and data collection, follow by hours upon hours of writing. Right now I’m neck-deep in data collection.

My third semester is almost over.

Of course, the panic tends to set in for everyone at the end of every semester. Final exams are approaching like fire-breathing dragons (and some professors like to give exams right before Thanksgiving… I have one tomorrow, despite the fact that there are only two and a half weeks of class left before finals. Ugh.). Final projects are due (I’ve got one due next Tuesday, before Thanksgiving). Holiday/vacation planning is in full swing, if you allow yourself to take the time off. It’s a stressful time of year. And it happens twice a year for students.

For graduate students, at least in the sciences, it’s compounded by the fact that your advisor is breathing down your neck asking why you haven’t gotten things done (whether or not they are actually doing this in real life, they’re probably still doing this in your head). It is both a gift and a curse to have an advisor who cares about you finishing your degree on time. I almost wish I didn’t, because it makes me feel guilty when I don’t have time for thesis stuff any given day. As a result, my brain sometimes begins to spiral.

You have research to do! Why on earth did you decide to take that extra class, even though it’s really interesting and will likely help you get a job in the future?? Why are you doing this to yourself? What was wrong with your life before graduate school that you had to abandon it for this life of torture??!

Graduate school, at least in my case (and many others in the sciences), is a juggling act of teaching, learning, and researching. You’d think that taking our the teaching might make it less horrible, but honestly? Teaching is probably my favorite part of this whole experience. It’s also the easiest. Next semester I won’t have any more classes to take, and I do have the whole summer after that. The goal is to start writing my thesis in the middle of spring semester. At this point I honestly have no idea if I’ll make that deadline. It feels far away and scary and there are SO MANY THINGS that need to get done between now and then. Weekends are no longer real. The future is not so vast, and it’s hard to keep things in perspective in graduate school.

In the grand scheme of life, I do not regret this decision. I have met many wonderful people I otherwise never would have come in contact with, and I am happy I have them in my life because I chose to go to graduate school. I am sure my degree (once I earn it, hopefully before I snap and run away) will help me get a better job in future.

But right now I’m in a dark tunnel and I can’t see those shiny lights at the end.

This is what graduate school is like. Not all the time, but at least once a semester. It’s made even harder when you see what your friends back home are doing on facebook and twitter, having a grand ol’ time of life. Or when you see your new, non-graduate school friends go to work and come home able to relax and do whatever they want. I know what that life is like – I took two years off before going back to school. On the one hand, I’m glad I did, because it helped me figure out what I wanted to learn about in graduate school. But on the other hand, I know what I’m missing without school in my life, and that’s hard.

Graduate school is stressful. It is the most stressful thing I have ever gone through. Would I have decided to go if I could go back in time with the knowledge I have now? I don’t know. That’s a really difficult question, one I try not to think about (but inevitably do around this time of year).

I must keep reminding myself that if all goes according to plan (and I honestly don’t know if it is right now) I have less than a year left of this life. My stepmom always says you can do anything for a year. Thing is, I’ve been doing this for a year and a half already. But I’ve made it this far, it would be stupid to run away now. I am not a quitter, and I would hate myself forever if I just gave up and walked away, so no worries of that happening.

It’s really difficult to balance relaxation and fun time with the amount of work you are required to do. This is something I have struggled with my entire life though. It’s exhausting. My greatest advice to new graduate students is this: make time for fun, and for yourself. You may find yourself working 12 hour days (that’s where I am right now). But you need to find a way to cut yourself some slack when you do that, or you’ll burn out. This past summer I did an internship, and it was basically like a real job. Yes, it set me back on my research progress, and yes, it didn’t end with a job offer. But it gave me another taste of the real world post-school, and a chance to recharge for the second year of graduate school (not to mention I met one of my best friends there). I don’t know if I’d be in a better place now, mentally, if I hadn’t done that internship. Sure, I’d have more data for my research project, and I’d be further along with it all, but I’d also be taking another class right now, and that sounds awful.


Like I said, graduate school is an emotional roller coaster. You get really excited about things like staring down a microscope at sparkly minerals and rock fragments, but then you also get overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do in such a short amount of time. I am going to take things one day or one week at a time, because looking further ahead than that is terrifying. I promise it is not all gloom and doom. I have learned a great many things here and I am thrilled to know them all. I love what my project is about. I just wish I had more time.

Here’s a great list of 8 struggles only a graduate student will understand. Although it’s also a good read for non-graduate students who want to understand what their friends and family members are going through.

The Almighty Johnsons is an urban fantasy genre show out of New Zealand. Over there it’s in its 3rd season, but the 1st season just appeared on Netflix in the US. Netflix recommended it to both my roommates and me, so we thought we’d give it a shot. Keep in mind we’ve only seen the first 3 episodes, but I think that’s enough to have developed some decent first impressions of the show.


The basic premise is this: four brothers – Mike, Anders, Ty, and Axl – are all decendents of Norse gods. Olaf – the only guy in the photo above in shorts – is actually their grandfather (he just ages really slowly because of his god power). Way back when the gods decided to live amongst humans, they left Asgard for Earth. Later, when people stopped believing in them or something, they got chased out of their homes and fled to New Zealand (Yes, New Zeland, of all places). Now, whenever a god and a goddess have a child together, that child becomes a god on his or her 21st birthday. They’re immortal, it seems, because they are continuously reincarnated.

Before I get into more detail, I feel the need to tell you that this show does not take itself very seriously. At all. The sense of humor is very blunt. They’re all gods, and they know they’re gods, but they appear to only really have memories of their current reincarnated lives (this might not be true, but I’m only 3 episodes in, and this is the way it seems). I LOVE the humor in this show. The situation is absurd to begin with, and they just roll with it. It reminds me a bit of the humor in The Fades. It’s blunt, and it’s quick witted, but there’s also a lot of 21-year-old boy humor. It’s an interesting combination.

The story begins on Axl’s 21st birthday, when his family informs him that his “cousin” Olaf is actually his grandfather, and they all have weak super powers because they’re gods. They do this silly little ritual – forcing Axl to strip naked and hold a sword in the air for “the lightning bolt” and suddenly he’s a god. But he’s also a 21-year-old boy. You can see how ridiculous this can become.

Here are a few more ridiculous things:

Olaf also has the fun duty of being the family Oracle. Sometimes he knows things. Sometimes his chill surfer dude lifestyle seems to take over his ability to know things. At one point he snaps out of a god-induced coma thing and starts dancing around, topless, with a lamp. I love Olaf.

The 4 brothers’ parents were the god of the sea, who ran off when they were kids, and their mother was the goddess of… I can’t remember. But she decided raising four sons who would be gods was too much to handle, so she ran into the forest to become a tree. Apparently the absurdity of godly behavior transcends the years.

Then there’s that one time that the god of all things dark and cold, and the goddess of… apples(?) have sex and make it snow apple-flavored snow. Indoors.

I don’t know very much about Norse mythology, mostly just the big-name gods and goddesses, but people who do know it will appreciate that many of the lesser-known gods and goddesses are in play here. It makes for many hilarious situations, especially when you start to think about the original relationships between all of them.

The only relationship they stick to is that between Odin and Frigg. There are a bunch of signs the day Axl turns 21, and this leads to him being the reincarnation of Odin. Odin has a big job. He has to find Frigg. This is his quest. If he fails this quest before he dies, then his whole family also dies. No pressure, then.

The set-up and the humor alone are enough to get me to start watching The Almighty Johnsons. But whether or not I stick around will be based on how they portray women on the show. I’m three episodes in, and so far the women are either mortal background characters (Axl’s roommate has a massive crush on him, but I can’t remember her name, and he is completely obvilious, and otherwise I have no idea what her purpose in life is. Then there’s Mike’s wife, who pretty much hates half his family, and might have originally been Mike’s best friend’s girlfriend?? But again, no idea what she does otherwise.), prizes to be won (Frigg, the goddess of Eden), or enemies.

There appears to be a whole coven of women who are probably goddesses, but this hasn’t really been confirmed. They tried to kill Odin, but failed, so now they’re trying to find Frigg. We don’t really know their names (at least, not their goddess names). But when the gods found out they existed, they were like “oh shit, goddesses hanging out together is really bad news – we have to find Frigg first!” Which, to an outsider like an audience member, is completely out of the blue. So far, the women haven’t been treated like people with their own ambitions (though I do have hope for Anders’ assistant, Dawn, who appears to be the only gorgeous woman Anders hasn’t tried to sleep with). They are entirely dependent on the gods’ storyline. I really hope this changes, but if it doesn’t, I don’t think I’ll be leaping for joy when season 2 comes to Netflix.

In the words of a tiny witch who appeared on my doorstep on Halloween, “Your house is really freaking me out!”

Mission accomplished.

I know it’s too late for this year, but here are some decorations my roommates and I put together for our Halloween party that perhaps might inspire you in future. As evidenced by our trick-or-treaters, it was pretty spooky.



This year we decided to turn our front yard into a supernatural-themed graveyard – meaning all the dead people were from our favorite supernatural shows and movies.

Things we purchased from the store and used as-is: fake, sticky, rubbery blood, from Target. Spiderwebs, from Target and Michael’s (spiders are apparently sold separately now). Orange and black light bulbs from Lowes.

Things we made:

Spooky wine bottle candle holders, gravestones, and glowing eyes. We also attempted to make chicken-wire ghosts, as seen on pinterest, but… apparently we didn’t get the right kind of chicken wire because it was rather… droopy.

The gravestones were made from floral styrofoam, found at any crafts store (we got ours from Michael’s). These were spray-painted gray and jammed onto sticks poking out of the ground so they’d stay upright. There are various thicknesses, and we went with the 1-inch thick styrofoam because it was half the price of the 2-inch, but still thick enough to work with the sticks.

When we spray painted the gravestones (and the sign for the cemetery) we painted some wine bottles we had lying around black.


We used acrylic paint to inscribe the gravestones. A sharpie won’t work because the stryrofoam is too bubbly.

IMG_1249 IMG_1248 IMG_1247 IMG_1276

The wine bottles, once painted, were made into candle holders. One thing I learned about candles is that these days they’re designed to be self-consuming. Meaning, if you don’t get the big thick ones, they just melt and, for lack of a better term, evaporate. If you want to stick a bunch of tall candles into wine bottles and hope they just drip all over the bottles – don’t. You have to put a bit more effort into it than that. I ended up lighting one candle at a time, letting it drip sideways until I deemed it short enough, then I stuck it in a bottle. I then used the next candle to melt the sides and cement the first candle into the bottle. (Thanks for the idea, Mom!!)




This is what I call a Pinterest win. Another Pinterest win were the glowing eyes. I don’t have a before photo, but we just took paper towel and toilet paper tubes, cut eyes into them, and stuffed them with glow sticks. You have to wrap dark tape on the ends so they don’t glow out of them.




And for the full effect:




And at night:


We hosted a Halloween party, and I am really proud of our wine table display, mostly put together by my roommate (I only added the wine bottles).


Tiny skulls (came in a big bag) from Target, the lantern was something we had, the napkins came from the sale rack at Michaels, and the sign came from the sale rack at Joanne’s Fabrics. I love that sign so much I’ll probably hang it up in my room all year round.

After the party, the little shark and the little Toothless dragon were very sleepy.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

In honor of Halloween week, I give you my review of my new favorite comedy horror film. Ok, so I still love Cabin in the Woods above all others in this category, but it might be tied with Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and Heathers.

movie poster

Detention (2011 or 2012 depending on what you’re looking at)

Starring: Shanley Caswell (Riley), Josh Hutcherson (Clapton), Spencer Locke (Ione), Aaron David Johnson (Sanderson), and a bunch of other people, including Dane Cook (don’t worry, he plays an asshole, so those of you who hate him can still hate him, and those of you who don’t will find him funny AND an asshole).

Directed by: Joseph Kahn

At a VERY basic level, it’s about a bunch of high school kids trying to survive a serial killer (Cinderhella) in their hometown of Grizzly Lake. It’s a horror comedy in the same vein as Scream, Cabin in the Woods, and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. I will warn you now – it is very fast-paced, and often feels as though whoever wrote it was on some serious hard core drugs as they came up with it, but ultimately I think it does a pretty damn good job of bringing everything full circle with appropriately placed foreshadowing woven in amongst all the randomosity and outrageous humor. That said, I don’t think it would work nearly as well if it was a slower-paced story. One of the reviews on Netflix says it perfectly: you know how some scripts are like sharks? They have to keep moving or they’ll die? This is definitely one of those scripts.

The writers/directors also had an obsession with the 90s. There is an insane number of 90s references. Also there might be time travel. Don’t think about it too hard, and it’s ok. Sometimes I think this is supposed to take place a bit in the future, or perhaps this is just a very strange school full of scientific geniuses. It’s hard to tell. But like I said, don’t think about it too hard and the crazy is just hilarious. I’ll give you the trailer, but I don’t think it quite does it justice as far as telling you what you’re really getting yourself into.

Really, it’s something like this:


Did I mention there’s also a Canadian who talks like every moment of his life is living a slam poetry performance? Or that there’s a very Freaky Friday subplot? There also might be aliens. Or someone who is part fly. If that’s not enough to get you intrigued, here are some of my favorite lines (many of which remind me of my favorites from Heathers) and images:

fashion victim

Riley: “Every morning I try to remember that I’m only the second biggest loser to walk Grizzly Hills High. First place goes to the drunk slut who screwed the dead mascot in 1992. But the 90’s are history, and so am I.”

detention 2011 riley

Gord the Canadian: “Yes, I like to start off by saying that this girl’s argument is ridiculous! Vegetarians who eat fish are hypocrites! She thinks that because fish feel no pain they don’t value their lives. Absurd!”


Clapton: I’d hide in a sporting goods store if zombies attacked.

Sanderson: Costco. Zombies don’t have memberships.


do the crane thing

These people must have had a ridiculously good time making this movie, if nothing else.

cast having fun

I am sure this movie has many flaws. But I thought it was well done and enjoyable for what it was: a horror comedy. Plus Josh Hutcherson is adorable. They did a good job of hiding who the Cinderhella killer was until the audience was supposed to know, too. I generally don’t like it when movies/TV shows try to do a bunch of things all at once, but somehow I think it worked for this one.

So, if you’re looking for something kind of scary and kind of ridiculous to watch for Halloween week, Detention is on Netflix! Enjoy!


My rage associated with feminist issues has been extremely close to the surface this past week, thanks to all the GamerGate sexism/misogyny and Utah State University refusing to put public safety before gun laws for Anita Sarkeesian’s talk. But plenty of people have written about these issues this week, and I’ve been sharing links to articles and blog posts on my social media outlets for days.

So instead of repeating what these eloquent people have already said on the issue, I’m going to talk about the new Old Spice ads that spark my rage every time they appear on Hulu.

The implications here are that women (particularly gorgeous ones) are too stupid to notice that the guy in their hot tub is a robot, despite how obvious it is to the viewers, just because he smells good. Really? REALLY?? The sexism is practically shouting from this ad. Here, women aren’t people, they’re just objects to be won by man robots who smell nice.

And this one:

Another gorgeous woman reduced to stupidity because a robot – this time, fried wires hanging out for the world to see – smells like a human man. And she was already at the dinner table with a real man.

Aaaaand this one:

I don’t even have words for this one. Creepy robot dude falls on a pretty woman and can’t get up. Gross. The hot tub commercial is definitely the worst of all of these. But all of these portray stereotypically gorgeous women as idiots. Please, can we not?

What happened to weird horse guy? That one at least was just strange and oddly charming. These new robot commercials make me want to vomit.

Just for good measure, and to show that Old Spice is not the only company guilty of sexist ads this past year, here’s the KIA ad in which human-sized male hamsters (who actually have the anatomy of a real hamster) turn real-sized pet hamsters into human-sized female hamsters who creepily have the body shape of human women. Also hair, like human women. The boys also steal one of the female’s cars, and then everyone parties together. Objectification of women at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

I apologize if you are now as enraged as I have been over these, but the more voices out there pointing out the blatant sexism in these commercials, the more likely it is that the right people will hear about it, and be in a position to change it.

Soup Night Recipe

Last year in my geology graduate program, we started this thing we call “Geowomen’s Soup Night.” Once a month or so, all the women geology grad students gather at one of our houses for good dinner, good wine (or beer!), and good conversation. Of course, the host is not required to make soup – they can make whatever main course they want. But no one has ventured outside the realm of soup yet.

I hosted the first Soup Night of this semester, so I thought I’d share my recipe, as I’ve learned some modifications you can make when you can’t find some of the ingredients, or you don’t have a slow cooker. I got it from a Good Housekeeping cookbook called Budget Dinners: 100 Recipes Your Family Will Love. It’s saved me on more than one occasion on my poor college student budget. This recipe served 6 of us, with a side salad, bread, and veggies and dip as an appetizer.

Winter Vegetable Chowder


2 medium leeks (about 8oz) – If you can’t find leeks (this happened to me with this last batch), you can substitute with a combination of shallots (I think I used about 4 large cloves) and green onions/scallions/chives (I think I used a whole bundle from the grocery store).

3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces – You can leave these out if you’re a vegetarian, or cook them on the side for your meat-eaters. I also tend to make way more bacon because bacon is delicious and it adds a certain something special to this chowder. Last time I made it, I had to keep the bacon out, and ended up making an entire small package of bacon. Maybe 10 slices? We went through most of it. My point is, you can use as much or as little bacon as you want.

2 large all-purpose potatoes (1 1/2 pounds)

1 large celery root (1 1/2 pounds) – This is the ingredient I most often have trouble finding. If I don’t have time to hunt for it, I’ll replace it with an equivalent amount of carrots.

1 medium butternut squash (2 1/4 pounds) – This is essential. My advice is to try to find one that will be easy to cut – so the less curves it has, the better.

28-30oz vegetable or chicken broth – I like the kind that comes in a box rather than a can, but either will do just fine

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 cup half-n-half or light cream – I use whichever I can find first when I’m looking in the store.

1. Cut off roots and trim dark green tops from leeks; cut each leek lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 3/4 in slices. Fill a large bowl with water and put the leeks in. Swish them around with some vigor. Make sure you separate all the pieces. Leeks often have a lot of sand/dirt in them, and this is the best way to get it out. I will usually dump the water and repeat the process once or twice to be really thorough. Drain them in a collander. If you’re using shallots and green onions instead, just chop them up into 1/4-in pieces and set them aside.

2. Cook the leeks and bacon over med-high heat for about 10-15 minutes in a 12-in or more skillet, until browned. The original recipe says 7-10 minutes, but it always takes longer for me. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and celery root (peel the carrots if you want, but I normally don’t because I’m lazy) and cut them into 1/2-in chunks. Cut the squash in half, discard the seeds, and remove the peel. Then cut the squash into 1-in chunks. I usually cut mine a bit smaller than that.

3. Dump the potatoes, celery root (or carrots), and squash into a 4.5-6 quart slow cooker or large pot. Stir in broth, thyme, salt, pepper, leeks/bacon (or shallots/green onions), and 1 cup of water.

3a. If you are using a slow cooker – cover it with the lid and cook on the low setting (as manufacturer directs) 7-8 hours or until all vegetables are very tender. If you’re away from home for longer than that, it will just sit on the “keep warm” setting and it will be fine.

3b. If you are using a large pot on a stovetop, turn the heat on very low and let it simmer to a gentle bubble with the lid on. This method will take about 45 minutes to an hour to cook.

4. Once everything is cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer about 2 cups of cooked vegetables to a small bowl. Coarsely mash the vegetables with a fork, potato masher, or pastry blender. Stir these vegetables back into the slow cooker/pot, then stir in the half-n-half. Heat through, and you are ready to serve!

If you have any questions about the recipe, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments! I’ve have this soup several times, several different ways, and it is one of my favorites.

And on that note, I’m going to continue devouring my breakfast of bacon on over-medium eggs with pepper and parmesan on fresh baked asiago bread. You don’t even need a recipe for that one.


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