Monday, October 5, 2009

How to Tame the Hubbard Beast (Squash)

This one is relatively small, compared to the average size for a hubbard squash. I placed it in the sink, washed it off and decided to tackle its demise in the sink, because it seemed more stable in the sink than on the counter.

I used my sturdiest knife and was able to pierce the surface with relative ease, but I could not continue sawing with only the strength of my arms. So I got my household hammer and hammered near the handle on the dull side of the knife blade. I left most of the blade plunged inside the squash, and hammered it all the way around the squash.

It was a very tough job, but I got it open, however roughly. I used this dipper to scoop the seeds out.

You can throw the guts away, or you can clean the seeds, wash them and then dry them with a paper towel.
Toss them in olive oil, sprinkle them with some sea salt and toast them at 350 degrees farenheit until golden brown and crunchy. They are great for snacking.

This is what the tamed beast (cleaned squash) looks like.

Wrap them each in two or three layers of foil, you may like to place them on baking dishes or pans to catch potential drips. Bake them at 350 degrees farenheit until soft. I baked mine about 2 hours.

Then I scooped the pulp out and mashed it some more. I measured it into freezer bags, 2 cups per bag and froze it until I want to use it. It is excellent as a soup base, to thicken and flavor the broth. I also use it in muffins, waffles, cheeseless macaroni and cheese, pumpkin custard. It gets very creamy if you puree it in the food processor. I have even been known to eat pureed winter squash with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray and maple syrup or brown sugar.

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"If it ain't simple, I don't cook it."