Wednesday, December 10, 2008


BEAUTIFUL gourd art from Vickie's Sketchbook

GOURD: A word used to differentiate winter from summer squash. Summer varieties being delicate, fragile, quick to slice, speedy to cook. Winter varieties being hearty and dense, heavy and encased in armor, such that they have been used by ancient civilizations for art, bowls, spoons, dippers, ceremonial rattles ... and Seminole Indians used the seeds for "adult's sickness caused by adultery."

I love winter squash. The taste is lush and deep, just as are the colors of its shell and flesh. However, user-friendly it is not. To extract its edible goodness requires wielding your biggest baddest blade to remove it from its unyielding carapace and cut it into pieces. Thankfully, as vegetables go, winter squash is also nearly imperishable, and will keep on your kitchen counter until you are able to gather up sufficient courage to attack, strip and dice it.

Although high in carbs, Butternut Squash (for example) delivers a relatively low glycemic load, and is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese.

So, it isn't just about pretty colors!
There are many approaches to how to attack a winter squash, with two extremes linked below:SIMPLY RECIPES: Elise's rational, logical and artful approach in How to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash

VIDEO: Not me in this vid, but exactly how I often feel when faced with this daunting task ... How to Cut a Really Big Squash

1 comment:

Trundling Grunt said...

Butternut squash are versatile and somewhat underrated. Assuming you have any fingers left after cutting into them, roasting them with oil, red pepper and herbs is quick and delicious.

Saw your reference in the Carmel mag - good luck to you in your posting. I have a friend with celiacs and that's a tough path as it's so poorly understood and wheat products are so insidious in our routine diet.

Again, good luck to you. I have a few recipes over my way, but haven't screened them for gluten.