Squash, the gourd, and other romantic notions.

Gourds of any kind, edible or decorative, conjure up romantic notions within me. Maybe it’s because I miss the fall and winter and well, every season of New England.

butternut and apples
My new favorite thing…roasting apples and butternut squash…together!

Fall activities that pair well with squash consumption:

  • A walk or run through the woods noticing the leaves crunching under foot and the woodsy scent of fallen pine needles.
  • Raking leaves into a pile just to jump in because why else would you rake leaves? Fun and exercise. Side note: The core strengthening benefit of raking is excellent and you will feel it the next day. Just be sure to switch sides because as Mauri Winsor says in one of her Pilates videos when speaking about toning muscles, “We want to keep both sides even.”
  • scarecrowAfter a day of pumpkin picking or scarecrow making. I sure worked up an appetite while assembling these scarecrows inspired by Grant Wood’s American Gothic. The “heirloom” pumpkins, by the way, were the last few left in the bin, er, I mean pumpkin patch! Look how wonderfully they stack together, like they were just waiting for me.

 

  • butternutapple roast2
    Chinese five spice tofu over Swiss chard with roasted apples, butternut squash, and onions.

    After a hay ride and apple picking. Ok, so maybe the hay ride isn’t so romantic if your husband can’t join you because he is allergic to hay and horses and quite possibly tractors. That allergy did get him out of helping stuff the scarecrows with hay, but back to my original point we were able to share a wonderful fall infused dinner together that included roasted apples and butternut squash.

 

Memories of such activities may be part of the reason why squash is such a comfort food for me. We enjoyed acorn squash boats for lunch today and it’s in the mid 70’s, beautiful, everything still in bloom with bright green leaves and I bet it tasted just as good as in any one of my nostalgically romanticized scenarios.

acorn squash boat
Roasted acorn squash “boat” stuffed with curried chickpeas, red bell pepper, and Swiss chard.

Squash is easy to cook and almost impossible to get wrong. I love it. I love squash. Embarrassingly so, you probably already got that. I wonder how long this love affair will last. Can I rendezvous with squash every day or even several times a week before I need a break? There are so many to choose from: Butternut, buttercup, spaghetti, acorn, sweet dumpling, delicate, kabocha, red kuri, carnival, pumpkin…  I will find and eat as many different varieties as I can.


butternutapple roast1

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples
  1. Pre heat oven to 425F.
  2. Peel butternut squash, cut in half, remove the seeds. Cut squash into cubes of similar size.
  3. Cut a few apples of your choice in half
  4. Cut a large white onion into 8 sections from root to top keeping the layers together.
  5. Put squash, apple, and onion in a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Pour about 1 TBSP of cooking oil over vegetables and gentle toss to coat.
  7. raw butternutapple2
    Raw butternut squash, apples, and onions tossed in oil and spices ready to go into the oven.

    Lightly dust vegetables with cardamom, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg or use which ever spices appeal to you.

  8. Bake vegetable for about 30-40 minutes, flipping the vegetables after about 20 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a fork or knife into the squash it should be soft throughout.

 

butternutapple roast2

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