What to do with a squash...

We were headed out of town for a week and I asked my neighbor to water my plants and enjoy the produce. We were looking at the soccer ball-sized Blue Hubbard squash. I said, "Pick it". She said she wouldn't know what to do with it. Hmmm. Would I know what to do with it? I'd probably peel it chop it into pieces and steam it. I might lose a finger or at least some skin in the process.

I've found an easier way. Chop it half. Scoop out the seeds. Slap the squash halves face down on a cookie sheet. I lined mine with one of those silicon baking liners. Next stick some cloves of garlic under the squash. Set the oven to 350°F and let it bake for 20-50 minutes until the outer shell is soft. Let it cool until you can handle it and then scoop out the flesh. Easy peasy. No need to peel the squash. No cut fingers. No trips to the ER.

So what did I do with this cooked squash? Well, I had one large helping with my dinner. Just salt and pepper it a bit and it's pretty good. You could add butter, cheese, nuts or anything. Right now, I'm baking some bread that used the rest of this squash. The recipe is from Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen, Sweet Potato Bread with Cranberries, Currants, and Pecans, page 88. Although I haven't tried it yet, I think almost any recipe for banana bread could be used. Just substitute the cooked squash for the bananas.

I can't seem to find fresh cranberries except around Thanksgiving and then they are incredibly expensive. I find that weird because some cranberries are grown here in Oregon. Instead I used dried cranberries. To entice the family to eat the bread, I added chocolate chips. Not so good on the waistline but hey they're eating squash!

So there it is...the first recipe from Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen. Maybe I won't cook through the whole cookbook but there are a lot of good recipes in here. I may just learn a bit more about cooking other unusual foods.

Update -- Bread is out of the oven. It looks and smells good. Waiting for it to cool down. Since the oven was hot, I decided to roast the other Blue Hubbard squash. About six beets were included in the food from Red Basket Farm yesterday. So I tossed those in...trimmed, scrubbed, and rubbed them with oil and tossed them on the baking sheet. Then I took a look in the cookbook for beets. Should have read the cookbook first. Seems you want to wrap beets in foil or half cover them with water and cover with foil. Sigh. My own fault. So I went and pulled the beets out of the oven. They were still cool enough to handle with bare hands. I compromised and a foil pouch for all of the beets. We'll see how that turns out.

Update to the Update -- The beets turned out beautifully. To peel them, I just held them under a small stream water and rubbed. The tough outer layer just came right off. Easy peasy.


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