Roasted Butternut Squash

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Roasted Butternut Squash.jpg

Well, that was a longer blogging break than I’d had in mind. First, I took a week off to try to finish the wedding quilt I’m making for my daughter and son-in-law. I was sooooo close to having it done on time! But nope, didn’t quite make it. So then I thought I could finish it while they were on their honeymoon. Probably could have, too, if I hadn’t hit a monster pothole on the road to health. Gonna be another long road ahead to recover, with lots of days I just don’t have enough spoons (the metaphoric kind) to cook. Sitting at a computer will be even more limited than usual, too. Sigh. I do have some recipes I’d already photographed, so I’ll have to rely on those for a while. 

But enough of that, let’s talk about Thanksgiving! It’s coming up here in the U.S. in another month and a half. I have so much to be thankful for: I’m married to my best friend. I have family and friends who will drop everything to come to my side when I need them. I have abundant clean water, plenty of food, and a warm house. (Well, the warm bit can get a bit dicey in the winter, but that’s what sweaters and wool socks are for, right?) My daughter’s wedding last month went beautifully, and we couldn’t be happier with her choice of husband. I don’t know what will happen with Thanksgiving this year. I’m really hoping to be recovered enough to cook. I know everyone would be happy to pitch in if I need them to, but I’m just not ready to give it up quite yet! 

One of the easiest dishes on the menu is Roasted Butternut Squash. I like to roast the squash instead of boiling because it gets such a lovely caramelization, adding depth and a little sweetness to the flavor. 

Now, my husband loves squash, but it’s never been one of my favorites. I think I did a pretty good job hiding that from my kids as they grew up. Kids have enough picky food issues without their parents passing along their own. In our house, everyone had to take a “No Thank You” helping of everything being served. You never know, one day you might discover you actually like something new. Humans’ tastes do change over time, after all. But one Thanksgiving at around age 10, I think, my youngest was dutifully trying to force down a tiny bite of squash. It just wouldn’t go down. It was a valiant effort, but their stomach simply refused to accept it. Let’s just say the effort was very distressing and very familiar. The same thing happened to me at that age! So E got special dispensation to never ever have to take a  “No Thank You” helping of squash, ever again. And I got to drop my ruse of pretending to like it, although all those years of hiding my aversion have resulted in developing something of a tolerance for the stuff. 

Why should you even look at a recipe for squash posted by someone who isn’t a fan? Because my Chief Taster loves it, that’s why! So I have it on good authority that this is a yummy way to prepare squash, and it’s so much easier than trying to peel, chop, and boil. Nowadays, I usually roast the squash the day before Thanksgiving, then reheat it in the microwave. One less thing to worry about on the big day!

Ingredients:

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1 large butternut squash

about 3 tablespoons butter

about 3 teaspoons brown sugar

about ¾ teaspoon salt

about 3/8 teaspoon ground ginger

about 3 tablespoons orange juice (fresh is best, but not essential)

Preparation:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350º F (177º C). Wash the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds & fibers with a spoon.

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2.) Place the cut side face down on a lightly oiled pan. Bake for 1 hour.  Let cool just enough to handle.

3.) Flip the pieces cut side up. Scoop the meat out of the rind and transfer to a mixing bowl. You’ll notice that the color has deepened, and may have gone as far as golden brown. That’s good! 

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4.) To accommodate larger or smaller squashes without sacrificing flavor, estimate how much squash meat you have in your bowl. Then for every cup (~567 g) of squash, add:

1 T butter

1 tsp brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

⅛ tsp ginger 

4 rbs

5.) Mash or purée according to your texture preference, adding just enough orange juice to reach the desired consistency.

5 rbs

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Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash

about 3 tablespoons butter

about 3 teaspoons brown sugar

about ¾ teaspoon salt

about 3/8 teaspoon ground ginger

about 3 tablespoons orange juice (fresh is best, but not essential)

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 350º F (177º C). Wash the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds & fibers with a spoon.

2.) Place the cut side face down on a lightly oiled pan. Bake for 1 hour.  Let cool just enough to handle.

3.) Flip the pieces cut side up. Scoop the meat out of the rind and transfer to a mixing bowl. You’ll notice that the color has deepened, and may have gone as far as golden brown. That’s good!

4.) To accommodate larger or smaller squashes without sacrificing flavor, estimate how much squash meat you have in your bowl. Then for every cup (~567 g) of squash, add:

1 T butter

1 tsp brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

⅛ tsp ginger

5.) Mash or purée according to your texture preference, adding just enough orange juice to reach the desired consistency.

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