When it comes to food that I ate growing up, I remember very little of what my Mom made us for dinner. It’s not that she didn’t cook. She did. All the time. I was just waaay less interested in food as compared to my interest level now. Oh, that and my memory pretty much sucks.
Some of my favorite stand-out dishes from my childhood include an amazing creamy risotto type dish with salmon (and for years, that remained the only way I would eat salmon), a recipe for Spaghetti Arrlechino that she learned at the hands of an Italian chef when we lived in Italy (which I had to swear not to share here), baked apples and roasted acorn squash. She used to make the acorn squash with brown sugar and butter, and it was to die for. Surprisingly, though, as much as I loved it, I’ve never actually made it myself. Nor any other acorn squash recipe, for that matter.
When I saw that this week’s ingredient for Fall Fest 2010 included winter squash, I was initially bummed that I wrote about the butternut squash last night, because that would have been perfect for tonight. But then I remembered the two acorn squash sitting on my counter. Bought at Sunday’s farmers’ market, they were simply begging to be used. Tonight was finally the night.
I honestly don’t know why I waited to so long to make this. The hardest part of the recipe? Slicing the darn acorn squash in half. Once you get through that beast, you scoop out the insides and baste it with a mixture of brown sugar, butter and real maple syrup. Pop it in the oven for an hour and that sweet Fall goodness is yours for the taking. If you were lucky enough to have a babysitter go to Vermont this summer and bring you back real maple syrup, the good stuff, this is the recipe to whip it out for. The finished product is slightly sweet, slightly sticky and oh so very good.
Need more winter squash recipe inspiration? Check out what my fellow Fall Festers are cooking up this week in the links below (some might not be live until tomorrow):
Gilded Fork: Butternut Squash Bisque with Nutmeg Crème Fraîche
Caroline at the Wright Recipes: Roasted Pumpkin and Winter Squash with Labneh and Skhug
Alana at Eating From the Ground Up: Fall Vegetable Chicken Pot Pie
Alison at Food2: Pumpkin Donuts
Toby at Healthy Eats: Pumpkin 5 Ways (Including Seed-Studded Pumpkin Bread)
Kirsten at Food Network: Best Pumpkin Recipes
Caron at San Diego Foodstuff: Clay Pot Winter Squash
I ran in to Osh Kosh last week to buy the kids some pants. Apparently they have both grown like weeds since last year and nothing fits them for this season. While I was in line paying, Madeline was sitting on the floor behind me, and facing away from me. That’s never a good sign. I asked her what she was doing and she turned even further away so that I couldn’t see her hands. Upon closer inspection, she had pried open a little plastic heart box and was busy shoving the five rings on her little fingers. For $3.40, I avoided her meltdown and we negotiated that she would wear one ring at a time. She had a tough time deciding between wearing the butterfly ring or the cupcake one. These are the hard decisions of a two and a half year old.
Roasted Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter
Recipe courtesy of Cate O’Malley
2 acorn squash, cut in half
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Slice the squash in half and scoop out all the seeds and the stringy bits. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, butter and maple syrup. Rub the inside of the squash with your sugar mixture and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the squash halves in a baking pan, cut side up and bake for about an hour, until the squash is soft.