Dinner tonight – I took one of the butternut squashes that we harvested from our front yard garden and peeled it and then cut it to cubes about one inch by one inch.
I picked the cubes of butternut squash into a baking dish, poured on a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a shake of sea salt, a grind of black pepper, and a shake of paprika.
I slid the baking dish of oiled up butternut squash into the oven which I had pre-heated to 375 degrees and left it sit for about a half hour.
After that half hour I took the dish out, melted a dollop of butter over the squash and sprinkled some brown sugar on the squash and then put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
After the ten minutes was up, I took the butternut squash out of the oven and let it cool off for a few minutes. And then, I basically ate all the squash right out of the pan! It was delicious! Quick and easy and delicious. I’ll be doing this again.
I have discovered (much like Europeans say they “discovered” North America) a very tasty and intriguing new vegetable – the chayote squash.
Next to my mother’s home lives a Chinese family and the grandmother from that home is wild about gardening. They have every single inch of their backyard growing some kind of an edible veggie. It really is a site to behold.
The grandmother speaks virtually no English and so when she comes over to my mother’s place they communicate with sign language and smiles. Anyway, the grandmother from across the lane is the one who gave my mother the first chayote we tried. And I will say, it is was delicious!
The chayote is a kind of summer squash typically found in Mexico. It grows on a wild, sprawling vine that will attach itself to anything in a yard. The family across the lane let their chayote grow along the fence between their yard and the neighbouring yard.
You have to peel the squash with a sharp knife or potato peeler and any peel that you leave on the squash, even after cooking, has a strong, bitter flavour. Once peeled though, the chayote squash has a dense, firm texture softer than a potato but but more firm than a cucumber. The flesh holds together very nicely when cooked in one inch cubes in a spaghetti sauce or soup.
The grandmother gave my mother a couple of the chayote squashes and we decided to plant them. They are in buckets of dirt in our climate controlled greenhouse for now. I will update you in the spring when we transfer them to our gardens.