Thursday, October 4, 2012

a meal most satisfying & how to roast a butternut squash

grown from scratch
and garlic butter naan
On Monday it rained all day. It was the first cool day in Charlotte that really felt like winter. It was kind of a bummer.

So Monday afternoon Abe roasted the butternut squash that we grew accidentally from a seed in our compost.

There are two ways to roast a butternut squash, and if you don't know about them, you should, because butternut squash is delicious and inexpensive (or free! Grow your own for next year by accident):
  1. The Fancy Way, where you take the time to peel and chop the squash before you roast it, therefore producing beautiful, perfect bright orange cubes like they would serve you in an expensive restaurant, and 
  2. My Lazy Messy Way, which involves cutting the squash once from top to bottom, rubbing it with a bit of oil inside and out and roasting it whole face-down in a pan. The squash cavity can also be a good place to roast a bit of garlic, but only if you have a good pan: otherwise the garlic will burn and your squash will taste foul. Oh, and don't forget to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits -- that would be after you cut, and before you oil.
I'm a lazy messy kind of girl (no sense denying it). I'm ashamed to admit how my arms ache after cutting up an entire butternut squash, and also because the skin does come off easily and nicely after it's roasted.

Anyway, on Monday Abe roasted the butternut squash The Fancy Way with olive oil, Herbes de Provence and love. When I got home, dinner was simple:  We caramelized an onion and sauteed garlic, then added the butternut squash, a pinch of marjoram and vegetable stock. A quick turn with the immersion blender, and we had the best butternut squash soup I've ever tasted.

Only by growing some food for yourself can you become acquainted with the beautiful energy cycle that revolves from soil to seed to flower to fruit to food to offal to decay, and around again. You will be fully responsible for any food that you grow for yourself, and you will know all about it. You will appreciate it fully, having known it all its life.
-Wendell Berry, "The Pleasures of Eating." Please read the whole essay here.