Sunday, October 16, 2011

Acorn squash

Why, oh, why did I not eat beautiful orange vegetables (other than carrots) when I was a child?  These days not much makes me happier than a pan of sweet potatoes, butternut squash and my favorite, acorn squash, roasting together in the oven and so I say, "Welcome back squash!  I've missed you."
I'm sure there are a million ways to cook these hard shelled squashes but I usually do the a variation on the same theme: squash + something sweet + fat + spice.  My something sweet is generally either brown sugar or maple syrup, but this batch ended up with something a little different.  See that picture of the amber-colored rock candy-ish stuff?  Well that's what you may find, if you're lucky, at the bottom of your maple syrup container.  I knew there would be a use for it one day and this was its day to shine!  If you aren't fortunate enough  to have maple "glass,"  I'm positive that  maple syrup would work just as well, it just wouldn't add moisture and flavor simultaneously. 

Cut the squash through the middle and scoop out seeds and gook. (Compost!) Trim the top/bottom of your halves in necessary to allow them to "sit" without wobbling.  Add some maple syrup or brown sugar, maybe 1.5 T per side, a dab of butter and some nutmeg, clove or cinnamon - or all  of the above.  Bake at 375 degrees until the squash is soft but not caving in on itself.  Maybe 35-45 minutes depending on size - size can be a real factor sometimes.  If you're in a rush, place squash, cut side down in a shallow glass plan with about an inch of water and place in the microwave on high for about 10 minutes.  Finish in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve, or eat the whole thing yourself. 

An aside: when Liam was a baby his nose was orange because of all of the yellow/orange vegetables he ate.  Does Mayor Jennings perhaps eat a lot of squash?!?
Obviously, this shouldn't be considered a recipe so much as a reminder that the seasons are changing and so should your meals.  Although the transition from bright red tomatoes  to orange squash and darker greens comes with some regrets (I should have eaten more blts!), it is inevitable and should be embraced. And, bonus - oven roasting also serves as the perfect delaying tactic to turning on the furnace for the season!  Delicious  + money-saving = winner.                             

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