Winter dinner – Hubbard squash

Put on a sweater and go down cellar. Choose a squash for dinner and, on your way back upstairs, grab a hacksaw.

Wash the squash and saw into manageable chunks – a lot will depend on the size of your oven and your cookie sheets. Scoop out the fibrous innards and save the seeds for roasting or next year’s crop. The flesh of the Hubbard squash is typically very dry, so rinse the cut pieces briefly in cold water. Oil a foil-covered cookie sheet and pile the pieces of squash artistically, so that they still fit in the oven. Bake at 375 for about an hour.

Scoop out the cooked squash from the rind into a saucepan over low heat. Add a few tablespoons of butter, sea salt, and perhaps 1/4 C of unsulphered molasses. When the squash is heated through and the butter has melted, mash with a potato masher until well mixed. Serve as a side dish to corn tortillas (for our vegetarian household), or braised beef, or add eggs and evaporated milk and use as pie filling.

Rinse the seeds in a colander until clear of the orange squash fibers. Spread on a dishtowel to dry. You can bake these in the oven on a cookie sheet, but I prefer an ungreased skillet over medium heat. Stir often, and when they start to puff up and sweat, sprinkle liberally with sea salt and just a tiny bit of raw sugar.

See? Winter isn’t quite so bad after all.

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