What’s in Season? Winter Squash!

December 31, 2007

Calling all cooks: Living Small is in need of winter squash recipes.

I’m terrible when it comes to seasonal eating. I bought an avocado a few days ago. I don’t think the Pacific Northwest has ever, in history, produced an avocado. Yet I wanted one, so I went to the store and bought one.

Ditto the satsumas I so eagerly await all year, grown by the solar-powered, certified organic Johansen Ranch in northern California, a mere 650 miles away as the semi drives. Yes, the Johansen Ranch is doing good by Mother Nature through its pesticide-free, energy-efficient farming practices. But who cares how energy efficient they are if I’m fueling the mandarin market (and a fleet of 18-wheelers) up here in the Great Wet North? Not to mention the clams I have to shell out for those little beauties — upwards of 13 bucks a box. Sure, they last me a week, but how sustainable is this practice in the long term? I can tell myself to eat in-season nibbles all year, cuz hey: at any point in time, oranges and avocados and those yummy-nummy berries are in-season somewhere, right? Ha. Nice try.

So last night, Husband and I decided to go locavore. We strolled to the co-op, primed to buy some in-season, local grub. And what did we find in abundance, grown both locally and organically, all for the sweet price of 99 cents/pound? Say it with me: Winter Squash!

We’d just finished off a bucketful of delicata squash we’d received as part of our CSA storage share. We had thrice used said delicatas to great effect in this recipe for a delectable squash lasagna. (Chef Hubby substitutes cottage cheese for the ricotta, and the aforementioned delicata for the acorn squash, fyi. And for the vegans out there, a modification.) But what else to do with a winter squash? I think I’ve made butternut squash soup before; there’s one idear. Maybe delicata risotto? But what else? Please share your squash sensations. Much as I love lasagna, I don’t think I can (or should) eat it nightly.

Note: I did purchase a box of orange gold last night as well. Come on, people; they were on sale. Only a tenner per box. Let’s hope the co-op stops receiving them. My willpower is weak at this time of year.

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8 Responses to “What’s in Season? Winter Squash!”

  1. Justin Garland said

    My mom always used to cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, fill the hole with butter and brown sugar, toss them in the oven for who knows how long. When they came out, they were so tender and juicy and sweet and yummy. Maybe not the healthiest approach to winter squash, but it’s my default.

    I’ve really been trying to reconnect to my food lately. I’ve just been so disconnected for so long. Not necessarily unhealthy. Just removed. Not conscious of seasonal variation. Not conscious of locally produced food. (Both of which should be considered sacrilege for someone living in Northern California where we get produce year round!) Not conscious of the actual act of eating. All of that is changing and I’m trying to reground myself and my eating habits. Nice to know that I’m not alone.

  2. We taste-tested the acorn squash-with-brown sugar and deemed it delicious. Good work, Justin.

  3. Linda said

    I second the squash idea that Justin had. Being a mom who has used this recipe countless times, it works for me! Any winter squash works well with this basic recipe. It is amazingly good when nuked in the microwave, also, but perhaps that is not as ecological. Some of these new ideas are quite foreign to me. I am trying some of them on, and will watch your posts.

  4. Justin said

    Check out this great page, which I just discovered, thanks to the eatlocalchallenge.com blog:

    http://www.nrdc.org/health/foodmiles/

    Not to make you jealous, but after you look at WA, check out the Northern California list for early January! Woo, are we blessed or what?

  5. And you don’t eat local cause why? What bounty!

    Looks like I’ll have to 86 the kale I’ve been eating, too. Oh, the trials of veggie living in the Pacific Northwest.

    Thanks for the link; I’m going to use it often!

  6. […] is it to think that a program like this could function in Washington? As I mentioned in an earlier post, our agri-bounty dwindles in winter. We get a whole lotta storables: squash, potatoes, apples, […]

  7. SallyGardener said

    oh I am so with you here. I’m in the UK but like Justin have felt for a long time that I’ve become dislocated from the food I was eating. So I’ve started an experiment to eat seasonally for one whole year – you can read how I’m getting on here: http://theyearofeatingseasonally.wordpress.com/

    And what to do with squash? Peel & cut up into chunks, mix it with a whole lotta other veg that hold their shape – root veg like parsnips, onions, swede (that’s rutabaga to you :D) turnips all do well – drizzle with olive oil, add a handful of fresh rosemary, season to taste, and roast for about 40 minutes in a medium oven. Deeee-licious. And not much effort, either. This is the main way I eat squash (like you, don’t know what else to do with it really!)

    best wishes and thanks for a great blog

    Sally xx

  8. Sally,

    Thanks for the recipe idea. We’re fans of the root veggie roast, but we’ve never added squash. Great suggestion.

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