Saturday, February 19, 2011

Looking at a squash

So that's what I'm doing this morning. I'm waiting for the coffee to brew and looking at a squash.

It's a butternut, locally and organically grown.

I bought it.

Of vegetables that I grow myself, it's the first one I've bought since last June, so it's kind of mythic.

Sadly, I often stare at food. When I first loaded up the freezer with all the preserved food I managed this year, I'd have to stop myself from going down to the basement to look at it. I did occasionally open up the little dorm fridge full of canned goods just to look at all the lovely little rows of jars. Every gardener knows the phenomenon of staring your seedlings into growth. Has anyone managed to make that work yet?

Staring at food is what food and garden porn is all about-- lovely pictures to look at, so you can imagine, "I'd make that/plant that/create that if I had that much time, those tools, that expertise." Apparently, staring at food also helps satisfy your desire for it, causing you to eat less, although I have not personally experienced this phenomenon. Somehow, staring at candy bars makes me buy them. People are trying however.

Meantime, here's this squash. Just between you and me, I think it's staring back.

Hide-the-squash-from-the-kids meatloaf
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground lamb or pork
1 cup diced roasted squash
1/2 cup bread crumbs
small onion, diced

sea salt
ground green pepper (black is fine if you don't have the green)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons mint

Peel and seed the squash, then dice enough to yield a cup (quite a small dice, remember, we're hiding it from the kids); lightly toss with olive oil and saute until soft. Roast the rest of the squash in the oven at 400F/200C and save it for baking, risotto, or soup.

My meatloaf, by the way is not for the squeamish. Get out a loaf pan and spray with cooking spray, or lightly coat with olive oil and bread crumbs (this is to aid clean up). Turn on the water in the sink, and let a warm stream run, you're going to need it. Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together with your hands until everything is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Form into a loaf and press into the pan. If you need to further disguise this from the kids, put a little ketchup on top as a glaze, but with the squash version, I like to leave this off.

Rinse your hands, then put the loaf in the oven. Roast for about 90 minutes, or until it is completely brown all the way to the center. If you are using cheap meat, you will need to drain the fat about half way through, but please don't use cheap meat. You'll just end up eating more of it and getting just as fat.

1 comment:

  1. Thats a recipe I must try! We make Butternut Squash Ravioli alot with a brown sage butter! Kiddos love it!