My father, aka Scoop (and a variety of other nicknames), often invented his own terminology for everyday items: gift –> prize; sweater –> square; white wine –> panther piss. You get the idea. So naturally, squash–> squish. We call them Scoopisms.
We never actually ate squash growing up. Vegetables in our house consisted of those that my father liked. Canned peas (still have an aversion to them to this day), green beans, corn on the cob. Maybe it’s because we ate so few veggies then, that I love them so much now.
Last week before Italian class Kathy and I met at What’s For Dinner for some pre-class chow. We love What’s For Dinner. It’s a tiny spot just off the main drag in O’Bryonville. The dining area is a jumble of mismatched chairs and tables, and there’s an interesting assortment of stuff displayed everywhere. Sort of like TGIFridays, but not at all contrived. Tables may have a small bud vase filled with sweet potato vine and sprigs of rosemary, or not. You order food after checking out what’s in the big display case that contains all Chef’s concoctions for the day. There’s always a soup, several salads, meat, fish and pasta dishes, veggies, desserts. All quite yummy, and affordable. Patrons help themselves to silverware, napkins and beverages. Some folks order enough take out food to stock the fridge for a few days.
Anyway, last week there was roasted winter squash stuffed with wild rice, bits of dried fruit, bread and herbs. A perfectly satisfying dinner treat on a chilly, rainy evening. Although yesterday was neither rainy or unseasonably chilly, ’tis the eve of one of my favorite days of the year – when we revert to daylight savings time. I will relish every minute of the extra hour we get today. Mmmmm.
I digress yet again.
In celebration of the upcoming extra hour, a nice stuffed squash seemed in order. I found a nice medley of long grain brown rice, sweet brown rice, wild rice, whole grain Weham rice, and whole grain /black Japonica rice by Lundberg Family Farms. While it bubbled away on the stove, additives were prepped: red onion, celery, unsweetened dried cranberries, dried black currants from Trader Joe’s, minced garlic, fresh thyme and a touch of fresh nutmeg. Sauté the onion and celery over low heat in olive oil until tended. When the rice is ready, combine all ingredients.
Dorothy Lane Market has a nice selection of winter squash. This one is call a Sweet Dumpling Squash. Cut in half with the guts and seeds scooped out, roast in a 350 degree oven until tender, about 45 minutes. Carefully cut the tip off the pointed end with a sharp knife so it will balance on the plate. Fill with the rice mixture, spritz with a bit of olive oil or brush with melted butter until the cut side of the squash begins to color.