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Using up stored squash

Squash are prolific plants and supply much produce and the quandary becomes how to use all that we have in storage. I’m often surprised at how many people do not grow or eat squash, and if offered one, reply, “What will I do with it? We have no such problem in our house. We love this nutritious vegetable and eat it at least once a week all winter.

We grow buttercup squash because we like its dark-orange colour and its smooth texture. The easiest way to cook it is simply to boil in a bit of water or steam it, then mash it. If desired a bit of butter can be added during the mashing.

Large slices of squash could also be placed in a greased baking pan, scatter a few craisins, raisins and apple slices over them, then drizzle with a mixture of the juice and grated peel of one orange, a tablespoon of honey, and a tablespoon of melted butter. The pan is covered and baked at 350F for 45 minutes. Delicious!

Squash can also be included in a pan of roasted vegetables. Try cutting up potato, onion, carrot, parsnip and squash, coat them with oil — adding some herbs for flavour — and bake together in a greased pan for an hour or so. The squash can be added about halfway through the cooking time as it tends to not take as long to cook as the other vegetables.

Of course squash can be stuffed. Usually squash halves — minus the seeds which are scooped out before cooking — are baked and then a suitable stuffing is added. Some suggestions would be broccoli and cheese, chopped celery and onions along with walnut pieces, some mushrooms and bread crumbs, or any stuffing of your choice. The stuffed halves are then baked until the stuffing is cooked.

Squash is good for you, easy to prepare and cook, and lends itself to being served in so many different ways.

Here’s a fancier dish that’s great for company:

SQUASH BAKE

1 box Stove Top stuffing

3 c. coarsely diced squash

1/3 c. margarine, melted

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 tsp. chopped celery

1/2 c. diced onion

1 c. grated cheese

2 c. cracker crumbs

Make up stuffing as per directions on box, then add all other ingredients and mix well. Bake in a greased casserole at 375F for 1 hour.

Albert Parsons writes from Minnedosa, Manitoba

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