Squashed

wooden bridge in a forest

One of the things that I love about fall is the food. Particularly, winter squash but more specifically butternut squash tossed in a bit of olive oil, dusted with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, and roasted until the edges are golden….

Delicious.

Generally speaking, though, I am lazy when it comes to prepping winter squash so I don’t eat it often.

I was home with my kids yesterday since school was out so we went to the grocery store to stock up for the week. As it turns out they now have cubed butternut squash in containers ready for your cooking sheet. I jumped for joy right there in the produce section. Then I looked at the price. $4.95 for a container with approximately two cups of raw cubes. 

My breath caught. 

Dang. That’s pricey.

Still. I really wanted some roasted butternut squash. But for that much? I hesitated for a moment but still plunked a couple of containers in my cart. 

Then I made my way through the rest of the produce section. At the end of an aisle was the butternut squash. The whole squashes. For less than one of those containers. That would make what, 8-10 cups? The frugal angel that sits on my shoulder won out.

Alright, I decided. I have a sharp knife. I can make cheese. I bake my own bread. I make my own humus and pesto. I make and can my own jelly and so far no one has died from it, knock on wood. Why am I letting a tasty squash get to me? I can DO this! 

Well let me tell you… that was some work.

I spent almost two frickin’ hours peeling and dicing that thing. My hands are still cramping. The force required to cut through the flesh is such that if you slip up, it isn’t going to be a simple cut finger you end up with. Oh, no. It will be a full on amputation. 

What I want to know is why we can genetically engineer maroon carrots and clone sheep but we cannot make a more friendly butternut squash.

It was worth it, though…

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104 thoughts on “Squashed

  1. Oh I love it too. I have paid out for the pre-cut one many times, and then I did what you did. And yes, it was horrible. I did it a second time and it wasn’t nearly so bad. I have a third sitting in my kitchen fruit basket now (waiting for me to have the time). We’ll see. Sometimes the price is well worth it!

    I often add parsnips to the mix. Oh it is delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love butternut squash the way you described it prepared and I usually don’t mind slicing and dicing, but I always but butternut squashed cubed. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s a short season and I just want to enjoy it several times and don’t want to be discouraged by the work. Or maybe I’m just lazy in be fall..:)
    Oh, and butternut squash soup…..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love butternut squash, but hate how difficult it is to work with until . . . try this. Set oven at 325 degrees, take whole butternut squash (wash outside thoroughly), leave whole – don’t cut or peel, place butternut squash in pan lined with foil. Rub olive oil on outside and sprinkle with cracked pepper and salt. Bake until you can press down on the skin with a fork and the neck gives, takes about 2 hours to cook like this. Here is why I love this: 1) skin is nice and brown (on the dark side), 2) you can easily slice a knife down the middle, 3) open up and scoop out seeds and you have only the squash meat left, and best of all 4) the squash has a wonderful nutty flavor because of baking with skins, olive oil and seasoning. It takes all the hassle out of preparing it and it tastes delicious. You’ll love it. We bag it in meal size ziplock baggies and freeze for later use. I’ve never made another way since. Hope you try and enjoy!!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I cook mine in the crock pot along with the rest of the meal. I slice it in half…take out the seeds…put a little maple syrup on it and put the sides back together and plop it in…delish!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yep, those suckers have tough skins. I tend to get my largest knife embedded then wack the whole thing onto the board until I hit wood. It’s a noisy process. However, sometimes I buy the little cubes because I can’t face the battle.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Everything I make lately has some sort of squash in it. I love autumn, but I refuse to peel and cut a butternut. I either buy the cubed if I absolutely must have butternut, or I have taken to substituting the deep orange garnet yams for butternut a lot of the time. So much easier to deal with when arthritis rules your life. Right now I’m sort of hooked on spaghetti squash…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. One of my favorites too. I make it often in the fall I don’t find it that difficult if you cut up first and then take off the skin from the cut up pieces. No peeling of the whole thing. It goes quit fast for me. A good knife helps. And I love to sprinkle fresh rosemary on it too. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I do the Blue Apron thing, and one of the recent recipes was for a nice curry dish containing this freakish little squash I’d never heard of. On the outside it looked like a wee greenish pumpkin. Inside – once I was able to hack my way in – looked and kinda tasted like butternut. It was absolutely as hard to cut as a butternut. I think it yielded about 1 cup of flesh.
    I adore the Blue Apron thing, but that seemed more like a case of using an exotic vegetable to be pretentious vs practical.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I peel my squash with a vegetable peeler whole. Easier to hold on to. Now we nuke it, for about 20 minutes, It is not cooked completely. Let it cool and then peel the skin off. We usually mash it up ater we cook the chunks a bit more, add cinnamon and black pepper and a wee bit of brown sugar or maple syrup. Yummy.

    Liked by 1 person

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