Sunday, October 24, 2010

Grandma's Squash Bake

Tuesday night I decided to break out of the tyranny of New England recipes and make Grandmother's Squash Bake from Idaho. The remaining recipes in the vegetable section of the Northeast section are somewhat....weird. Weird, or unable to be cooked at this time of year, like sauteed dandelion flowers. Or not something you just eat for dinner, like creamed horseradish. So, I got an acorn squash and made half the recipe. One of the squash options is Hubbard squash. Hubbard squash was a remanant of my childhood. One of the high points of the year was the Great Barrington Fair in September, right after school started. It had horse racing, which tied up the traffic on Route 7 on both sides of the town, and carnival rides and games and agricultural exhibits. Of course, the carnival rides were the main attraction, but I also liked the argricultural exhibits, the cows, with their ribbons and portable milking machines, the sheep, with their wool clipped close so you could run your fingers through it, the odd looking chickens and the canned and baked goods.
Then, there were the vegetables. One of the exhibit buildings had a series of large display cases where groups like the Grange laid out diaramas of vegetables, huge sunbursts of corn and squash and tomatoes. I remember the pale green, bumpy Hubbard squashes and wondered what they tasted like. I still don't know. But Grandmother's Squash Bake is a good recipe made with acorn squash. A note. It says to press the squash flesh through a colander. I just kind of minced it with a fork and it turned out fine.

Grandmother's Squash Bake

1/2 cup butter
1 large Hubbard Squash, butternut squash or two large acorn squash
1/2 cup heavy cream, scalded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Melt three tablespoons of the butter. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Cut squash in pieces if very large. Place in a roasting pan. Brush cut surfaces with the melted butter. Bake forty minutes, or until tender.
3. Scoop out the squash flesh and press through a colander. Beat pulp with the remaining ingredients and turn into a greased baking dish or casserole. Bake 20 minutes or until top is browned.

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