Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Great Squash Adventure

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!


EcoGeoFemme said...

That's one serious squash!

The stuffing sounds delicious! What a great idea.

Doctor Pion said...

Looks like you could have used a chain saw or an axe on that thing!

Yeah, I think the internets underestimated the mass and thermal conductivity of that monster, but the result looks delicious.