The last day of September has arrived. Golden afternoon sun moves into the long shadows of the fir trees outside her window. Leaving the bed with its crumpled woolen throw and Barbara Kingsolver’s Orange Prize The Lacuna, she climbs the shallow steps up to the kitchen and looks at the orange Ambercup squash on the counter. She hadn’t planned to cook this harvest poster vegetable yet but there are shallots in the wicker basket beside it. She muses about the great handfuls of parsley in her kitchen garden. Then there is that beautiful plump sage over by the fence. Of course it will need some thyme and just a bit of rosemary. By now she has put on her oversized apron and garden clogs and is out in the potager gathering the herbs.
“We are having stuffed squash with shallots, apples and pumpkin seeds” she shouts up to where her husband is working on securing another deer fence at the back of the yard.
He straightens up with a grin that reaches right to the back of his soft brown eyes. He knows that she knows that squash is his favourite food. She grins back.
With a fist full of herbs she is back at the kitchen counter. There is only one way to safely take the head off of a squash. It is with a large heavy cleaver. If hitting the cleaver with the back of her hand doesn’t slice the tough hide of the squash, she resorts to using the rubber mallet from the tool shed to pound it through. This method has never failed her. Today no rubber mallet is necessary.
With the insides of the squash composted, she is ready to make the house smell like savory heaven. She is sure there is a garlic clove over in the garlic holder. Yes, there it is. Butter, lots of butter – well, first a little olive oil is drizzled into the well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. The garlic, shallots and herbs are chopped and ready. A few slices of that heavy multi-grain bread filled with seeds cubed will do nicely. Two small this-year Macintosh apples are sliced and added unpeeled. She eats three pieces of their tart flesh before they make it into the mix. Fresh ground nutmeg and some of that fresh ground allspice too. Now let’s see… a few pumpkin seeds, maybe a handful. Finally some sea salt and pepper ground with wrist snapping vigor.
“That about does it,” she mutters to the kitchen wall.
Hanging up her apron she remembers wine. She has forgotten to buy wine.
Well, there are a couple of small bottles of champagne chilled that she was given by a friend in August for her birthday. Squash with champagne it will be.
Stuffed and the lid pinned on with large tooth picks, she places the squash on an old pie plate with a bit of water in the bottom and a piece of tinfoil loosely over top. The oven has been warmed to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer is set for an hour even though she knows it will likely take a bit longer.
She thinks that maybe she should write out the recipe but what would she say? Seize a medium sized winter squash and a few shallots. Then keep adding ingredients until you find that you have closed the oven door. Done!
Sprout Question: Can you share your creative recipe?
Best of the weekend to you!
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Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.
From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada
- Acorn Squash Stuffed with Walnut-Apple Basmati Pilaf (bettyconfidential.com)
- Squash and saffron risotto (thefrugalcook.blogspot.com)
15 thoughts on “Stuffed Ambercup Squash with Champagne”
Terrill – You don’t know, you can’t know, how this beautifully wordsmithed piece tickled my head and heart. And then Ohhhhhhhh, the photographs ….
Sprout Question: Can you share your creative recipe?
1 medium room, spare of items
1 bare southern yellow pine desk
1 window overlooking 200 year old oak tree
1 comfortable desk chair with behind firmly set in place
1 scented candle with lit wick
1 “writer’s block” piece of Jade
1 willing head and heart
1 call on Divine Love to let it flow through said head and heart
Let ingredients simmer for 4-6 hours without interruption.
Thank you and I knew you would your recipe at your finger tips Laurie!
Dear readers I just found out that one of my images of Reef Bay has been published on page 13 of the most recent issue of the regional Island Tides newspaper that publishes over 18,000 copies every other Thursday and covers many of the west coast island communities. The half page photo is tagged with “Mayne Island’s Reef Bay—September morning mist drifts in from the Strait of Georgia. Terrill’s one-woman show of photos and paintings ran till September 22 at the Mayne
Island Library.” You can see the PDF copy at http://www.islandtides.com/assets/IslandTides.pdf
Oh, thank you for that heavenly little trip, Terrill! You’ve inspired me again today.
And I have butternut squash, and shallots . . . and even some wine! Let’s see — what else is around here?
Looks like you are well on your way Martha to having stuffed squash tonight for dinner. Best of the weekend to you:)
Terrill – I was just out ADMIRING your PHOTO in the magazine — it’s STUNNING! Congratulations on having your work featured yet again in another venue. Whoohoo!
Thanks Laurie… it was a very nice way to start the weekend for sure:)
Wow, what a challenge you have presented me with. My amber squash is staring me down from my counter top… The photos you posted have turned my squash green with envy.
Ahhhh Jose your roasted squash soup is the best so stuffed or soup – either way delicious.
Squash is so hard to cut … I do it with a bread knife …. dangerous … 😉 I cut it into small slices, get rid of the insides, cut off the hard skin and slice the remainder into small pieces, which I cover with boiling vegetable stock and let them simmer until they are soft.
Hmm: now I don’t know what the German “Pürierstab” means in English – anyway: that thing you put on a mixer to create a mash. That’s what I’m doing with the boiled squash now: I create a nice purée, leaning to the soup side of purée.
While the squashes were simmering I cut onions, garlic and ginger. I roast them until the onions start to get brown and put them into the purée/ soup.
That’s it. You can add salt, sour cream, fresh chives or parsley as you please.
Detlef “purierstab” sounds much better than the English words I use which are “the masher thing.” Thank you for sharing your recipe… sounds like it is a love squash soup in the end, yes? You might want to try the heavy clever instead of the bread knife — but whatever works. Also, I have seen a few recipes where they microwave the squash to soften the hard skin before cutting it up. We don’t have a microwave so this is not an option. But for others it might be. Thanks so much for stopping by:))))
Oh boy what a delectable recipe there Terrill!
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Nice one Sam! Your recipe has proven to provide a nourishing read on many occasions. Thank you:)
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She loves the way you wrote this. She scratched her head with interest, having never heard of an ambercup squash before. She imagined the fizz of champagne. She tried to think of a creative recipe without success. She’s worried enough about what to serve at book club on Thursday night. She’s now pondering squash. She doesn’t really know. But she’s glad she wandered over here this morning!
Ah, thank you Kathy… I am sure “she” will find the perfect delights to serve for the book club. I was going to send along a link to my recipe for boiled raisin cookies but it went down with the old Gaia. I am glad that “she” came by this morning too.