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Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Out of his gourd

Variety of gourds

Variety of gourds Purchase photo reprints »

Every fall, we have family visit from Philadelphia for their annual pumpkin-buying splurge.

My nephew, his wife and their three little girls (coincidently the cutest in the world) love to go to Atkins Farm in Akmherst on Saturday morning for the cider doughnuts, then stop on the way back to Northampton along Bay Road in Hadley to buy about six or seven pumpkins for carving and eating and displaying.

While we were at Atkins a couple of weeks ago, and everybody else was stuffing their face with the doughnuts, I filled up the shopping cart.

Lots of squash: Two large acorn, one medium-size pumpkin squash, two large butternut, one medium-size blue hubbard. Plus two large sweet potatoes.

The next Saturday: Cut the acorn squash in half, cleaned the halves out, poured in some orange juice and maple syrup, wrapped them in foil. Did the same with the pumpkin squash. Also wrapped the sweet potatoes in foil. Everything in the oven.

Later the same day: We each ate half an acorn squash. Wife smiling.

Even later the same day: Cooled the cooked veggies and stored them in the fridge.

The next Sunday: Scooped all the cooled veggies out of their skins and mashed them all together in a large plastic container.

Later the same day: Made two loaves of quick squash bread filled with chopped dates and pecans. Great with butter. Wife still smiling.

Even later the same day: Made velvety squash soup with chicken stock and half-and-half. Great with freshly made corn bread just out the oven. Made the corn bread in my 50-year-old, 10-inch cast-iron skillet.

The next Monday: Ate squash soup and corn bread for supper. Wife still smiling.

The next Tuesday: Offered the same for supper. Wife bemused.

The next Wednesday: Made spaghetti sauce with squid tentacles and roasted peppers. Served over pasta. No squash in sight. Wife smiling again.

Did you think I was completely out of my gourd?

P.S. Still have to cook the two butternuts and the blue hubbard. Wife quizzical.

P.P.S. One of our 13 readers wanted to know where to get the canned San Marzano tomatoes I wrote about recently. Most of the area supermarkets have them with the other canned tomatoes.

— Lou

Slow down there, big fella. You don’t have to cook it all in a week. The great thing about winter squash is that it keeps for a long time. Keep it in a cool, dark place and it will last for months.

I am partial to roasted squash. Coat diced, peeled butternut squash, sliced shallots, chopped garlic and fresh rosemary with olive oil and roast till it starts to brown and caramelize.

— Lucy

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