Sunday, November 6, 2011

I am feeling a little squash

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE fall! I love everything about it. The brisk mornings, warm afternoons and and chilly nights. The beautiful fall colors are so beautiful. Most of all I love fall food! Pumpkins, apples, red grapes ans SQUASH! Not just one kind but all kinds. I love how there are so many varieties, color and weird shapes. If it were not for my darling vegetarian daughters, I would not have a clue what I was missing.

Remember, my Mom only made certain dishes. She never deviated from them. Fried chicken, cube steak, milk gravy, corn, mashed potatoes, applesauce and cresant rolls to name a few yummies. That is how Momma pronounced them! Pork chops, applesauce, canned party peas, macaroni and cheese.  Do not get me wrong, Mom could cook a mean dinner. She was known for her parties and the food served. I will never forget when my dear friend Cameron Bell came over to hang out. Dinner time rolled around and of course he was invited to stay. I have never seen someone enjoy their food as Cameron did that night. He was sadly disappointed to learn that I could not cook like my Mom! I make a mean skillet of fried chicken but nothing I mean NOTHING could beat hers.

My Grandmother once gave me the ultimate compliment. She told me that my fried chicken was just as good as Mom's if not better! Oh my golly I thought I was going to faint! Of course that was our little secret. :0)

OK, back to squash. Squash is so easy to prepare. Each variety has its own  taste. The squash in West Virginia has a sweeter taste. In Seattle the squash has a more earthy taste. Good in its own way.
Did you know that you can prepare squash in the microwave? I have yet to try to cook it this way. If you have never tried squash is yummy and so easy to make.
                                Sarah Elizabeth hiking with friends from Edmond Heights K12
Hiking in the Cascade Mountains

Check out these monster size leaves. Heather's hand pales in size.

Get out of the house and enjoy the bounty of fall colors. Pack a picnic and take someone near and dear to your heart. Collect leaves and press them in your books. One day you will find them and remember that lovely time you shared. :0)

May your table always be bountiful~blair

ACORN SQUASH                                                             

1 acorn squash
2 apples, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


To easily peel the acorn squash without losing a lot of vegetable, gently drop the squash in a large pot of boiling water, and boil for 15 minutes. Pour off the boiling water and fill with cold water and let sit 5 minutes to cool. When cool enough to handle, use a knife to slice off the peel on the ridges and use a teaspoon to dig out the peel in the valleys. Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds and stem. Then slice the halves into sections and finally cut into 1 inch chunks.

Place the squash chunks into a large microwave-safe bowl along with the apples. Dot with pieces of butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar, walnuts, salt and cinnamon over the top. Cover with plastic wrap, and poke a few holes in it for ventilation.

Cook in the microwave for 7 1/2 minutes on full power. Remove, uncover, and stir. Return to the microwave, and cook for another 7 1/2 minutes on full power, until tender. Serve hot.


You could use butternut squash for variety.
Pecans work well in this recipe instead of walnuts.
Honey or maple syrup can used with or instead of the brown sugar.
Adding cranberries and raisins gives this dish an amazing bump up!
If you prefer roasted squash, you can place this (uncovered) in the oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for just under an hour. Be sure to add 1/4 cup of water to the recipe before baking UPSIDE DOWN!

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