Squash Season

 
My mother always had massive and prolific vegetable and flower gardens during out short summers in northern Vermont, as did most of our neighbors. Zuchinni, pumpkins and squash would always grow best. I remember being almost frightened by the alarming rate at which these plants could take over one's yard, and how stealthily they moved as they claimed new territory. It was as though they were intentionally holding perfectly still when you were watching them, and then creeping towards you as you napped or played with your back turned. Then one day in August, without warning, you would look out the kitchen window towards the garden and find a cucumber or pumpkin plant pressing it's sticky little tendril against the glass in a startling, if not menacing, way. I found it unsettling, and it never failed to completely freak out our cats.

We would eat as much as we could, in a halfhearted effort to hold back the tide, but two very small little girls and one grown woman can only do so much. Our neighbors faced similar issues, and by the end of summer you had to be careful to lock your car doors while you ran into the post office for five minutes or you would end up with a backseat full of gifted produce.

Truth be told, most kinds of squash keeps very well when stored in a cool, dark place, but is best when eaten fresh. Farmer's markets everywhere are filling up with this season's squash right now, at excellent prices. There are about a million and half recipes for Butternut, Acorn, and Delicata squash hovering around on the internet, but the one below is a simple favorite, perfect for any of these varieties. Serve it as you would a sweet potato-like side dish. I like to leave the skin on when cooking, which pulls away easily after broiling. For a more savory flavor, replace the clove and nutmeg with crushed garlic and thyme.. really yummy! 

Roasted Acorn Squash

1 medium sized acorn squash (or two delicata, or one butternut)

2Tb olive il or melted butter

2TB Brown Sugar

1/2t each nutmeg, cayenne or white pepper, and ground cloves

 Cut squash in half and remove seeds from center. Quarter the squash, then cut each quarter in half, and then in half again, until you have sections that are about 1/2" thick.

Lay squash sections flat on lightly greased baking sheet, brush with melted butter or olive oil Sprinkle liberally with ground cloves, brown sugar, and nutmeg, salt and cayenne pepper

Broil for twenty minutes, or until the edges of the sections become a little bit crispy and squash is soft throughout. Serve immediately!