“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” Sir Winston Churchill
Now is the season of our squash content …
… and feast we can with the whole rainbow of squashes arriving for the harvest party, brightening our tables as the sun fades. From zucchini and spaghetti, delicata and butternut, kabocha, and acorn squashes to the whole range of pumpkins , their warm the nights with New World generosity.
But, when I was a kid, none of that appealed to me, except for Jack O’Lanterns.
I wasn’t much interested in most foods (I’m a slow learner), and certainly not that fibrous yellow stuff, even roasted with brown sugar (still don’t). Pumpkin pie was a slow sell to me, even our family’s traditional low-pumpkin, more-custard recipe.
Gradually, over time, I’ve come to love the whole riotous tribe.
Summer squashes are those thin-skinned, fast-growing, blossom-making beauties like zucchini and crookneck and pattypan that could offend no one, except by the shyness of their flavor.
I like to cut them up into pretty bites and add them raw to salads. Or, steam them for only 2 minutes with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese or spicy seasoning for a very fast, last-minute vegetable. If I’m grilling, I’ll slice them longwise, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, garlic granuals and oregano and put them on the grill for just a minute to make pretty stripes.
But summer’s gone now, and in center stage are the big boys – the winter squashes. It’s the only time I can find my favorite – the delicata, appropriately named as a transition from summer to winter squash. It’s elegant enough for even the most sophisticated dinners.
The delicata skin is so thin, you don’t have to peel it. Just cut lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (they are delicious toasted), then cut into pretty 1/2 inch slices for a 10-minute roasting with olive oil (maybe a jalapeño or rosemary EVOO) and a bit of salt.
Most of the winter squashes are wonderful roasted, and spaghetti squash turns into strands when roasted in a shallow water bath.
But, we all know the first fun of pumpkins is turning them into Jack O’Lanterns. Last night, Emily, Katie, Silvia, Joe, and I got together to carve pumpkins, with Ashley and Chauncey and Mark as commenters.
Tonight we’ll have lots of lighted pumpkins and toasted pumpkin seeds for the monthly Treo Happy Hour.