Amidst the massive egg recall and the debate over local food math, I’m craving simplicity. With summer vacations departed and the back-to-school frenzy afoot, the slow dwindling of daylight hours subdues my kitchen a bit.
Okay, I admit it. I don’t have any kids to cart off to Target for school supplies or worry about what to wear on the first day or pack for lunch. While my only concern outside of the pending cooler temperatures is wondering how the changing traffic pattern may affect my work commute, this historically hectic time of year has permeated my mindset. Back to the basics I go with this unadorned, baked Sweet Dumpling squash, courtesy of the Landisdale Farm CSA. A tender and sweet summer send-off.
Not to mention yellow like a school bus.
It’s practically as easy as buttered bread, but a whole lot more flavorful and nutritious:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash squash thoroughly and use a fork to poke a few holes in the squash skin.
- Place whole squash on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Once cooled, slice, remove seeds and stringy parts, and enjoy — you can even eat the skin.
If you feel like getting fancy and creating something more substantial to eat, feel free to stuff the squash, top it with brown sugar and butter, and even make it into a soup. But this busy time of year and in celebration of simplicity, why not take the easy way out – your taste buds will still be richly rewarded. I even topped my salad with a few slices to add a smooth texture to the crunch of the lettuce and an additional layer of sweetness to the tomatoes.
I enjoyed the squash so much that I decided to save the seeds to plant in the vegetable garden I’m plotting (in my head, so far) for next spring. Armed with internet sites and Amazon-rated 5-star books on vegetable gardening and seed sowing (I’m open to suggestions!), I’m also expanding my tomato and basil container garden to include dill, radish, Bibb lettuce and leeks. I’m really not sure what to expect; testing the pH of the soil eludes me and I’m unsystematically moving the peat pots around to follow the sun to ensure warmth and eventual photosynthesis.
Stay tuned for my learnings and hopefully a harvest or two — should make the transition into the cooler months more interesting. And while you may think growing your own food is far less simple than purchasing at a grocery store, much of the current newswire proves that this just isn’t the case right now.