So, at my sister's house there was a giant Hubbard squash that needed to be cooked. When I say giant, I mean a 30-pound squash. For the record, that's 5 lbs less than my 3-year-old son. It was also about 2 feet long, and 1 foot in diameter in the plane normal to the stem-to-blossom-end axis. This squash was so huge, we didn't know exactly what to do with it. First we decided to see if it would even fit in the oven:
Turns out that it did, but just barely:
The internets told us that if we baked it at 400 F for 30 minutes, it would soften and we could cut it up with a knife. The internets, however, were wrong, or at least they were talking about smaller squashes than this one, because we ended up with a hot but still very hard squash when we took it out of the oven:
Here it is on the kitchen counter, ready to have either end cut off.
So, I took a saw to it. This is the first time I've ever taken a saw to my food.
I began by sawing off one end, and let me tell you this was quite a workout.
In this picture you can see the sawdust as my cut goes into the fleshy part of the squash -- it's getting orange!
Finally I sawed through the blossom end of the squash!
I put that piece in a dish to roast in the oven.
Next I tackled the stem end. This was easier because I turned the squash to rest on the flat place where I had made the previous cut, and it was much more stable:
With that piece off, we put both ends in dishes, cut side down, and baked for about 2 hours in the 400 F oven.
Next, what to do with the main body of the squash?
I cut it open with a knife and removed all the seeds and other gunk.
I had to use a flashlight to get a good view of the cavity.
Then, we made some stuffing from walnuts, apples, and dried cranberries, tossed in melted butter and brown sugar, and spooned it into the squash.
Here's a closeup of the stuffing:
And here's the stuffed squash, ready to go into the oven at 400 F.
We baked it for 2 hours, but probably should have left it in for longer. The stuffing was delicious, though, and the squash wasn't half bad either!