Tuesday, November 9, 2010
October Leaves, Squash Returns
October always flies by too fast. This is something I believe and have heard from numerous people this week. Usually accompanied by a sigh. I'm not sure if it's because it's my favourite time of year, or because the month seems to perch so precariously between deep Autumn and early Winter, that it seems so delicate and temporary. We appear to get just the most brief space of October, and then it's gone and the cold, biting winds and forecasted snow of November rolls in.
To distract myself from watching the Weather Channel for any local snow news, I'm looking over my haul of squash from the farm stands last week. To think - I used to hate these wonderful veggies (or fruits - whatever you prefer!) Now I cannot make it through a Winter without a good stock of squash.
A few hints for great Winter meals involving squash:
~ Pick squash that is unblemished and hard. Don't bring any home that feel soft at all, or are bumped or nicked. They won't last.
~ Keep your squash in a cool, dry place. A basement or out of the way cupboard is perfect.
~ Unless you want to add extra sugar, try to find the sweeter varieties like Acorn, Dumpling, Celebration and other small squash. You can roast these with a simple pinch of salt and pepper and a dab of butter - yum! Okay - full disclosure: sometimes I do toss a teaspoon of brown sugar in there too!
~ Pick one or two easy recipies. You are more likely to use up your pile of squash if it doesn't take two hours to prepare your dish. I've had a butternut squash for a year - telling myself that I'm going to make Butternut Ravioli and it never happens. It is possible that it is now solid rock inside - and will very likely find a new home in my compost in the Spring. Instead I make a nice roast squash, or an easy squash soup.
~ As the squash sit, their colours will fade. As long as the skin is unpunctured, and the squash is firm, they will still be good to eat.
Enjoy this last bounty of Autumn - and stock up!