Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Squashing the sqash myth

I had never eaten a bite of squash until 4 years ago. The idea of it repulsed me and to be quite honest I'm not sure why. Somewhere along the journey of my life squash became one of those veggies that made a nice fall table decoration, but you certainly didn't eat it.
Something happened that changed all that...Elijah was born.
When Elijah was about 4 months old I started him on solid foods (that was still the reccommendation then...now it's 6 months). After we got him through all the grains, it was time to explore the world of veggies. I wandered through the baby food aisle, coupons in hand, ready to begin my son on a life long journey that included a love of veggies. I knew he should have a variety of green and orange veggies, chock full of nutrients. So we started the journey:
peas - check
carrots - check
beans - check (notice how I started with the basic of everyman?)
squash - hmmmmm...I know he should eat this, but I don't eat it myself...well, technically I don't eat baby food and it's an orange veggie...
I bought the little jar of squash.
Later, as I was spooning the squash into my child's mouth, curiosity came over me. What exactly was I feeding my son? He seems to like it...maybe it isn't that bad? I dipped the spoon into the puree again, but this time I put the spoon in my mouth instead of his and tasted. Actually, this isn't that bad, for babyfood that is.
The next week on grocery day as I braved the veggie section looking for an accompaniment for roast beef, I was compelled to the squash section. It was calling my name, "Kris, taste me, I'm very delicious." I looked over these veggies with curiosity. There were so many different kinds, which one should I pick. I went with the acorn one.
That Sunday, as I began to prepare supper, I took the squash out of the drawer and looked at it. To be honest, I didn't know what to do with it. I took out my handy-dandy, all-purpose cook book. Cut squash in half, spoon out seeds, bake at 350. Okay, I could do that. Hey, the seeds are like pumpkin seeds...that's a good sign right? 45 minutes later, I was spooning the squash into a bowl, mixing it with a little butter and mashing it all up.
I even braved putting some on my own plate. I tasted it...it was...sweet...really sweet...and creamy too. This was really good. How could I have gone 29 years and never tasted this before? From that moment on squash became a staple in our home. I've even had meals where there's been mostly squash on my plate, I love it so much. I've tried at least 5 different varieties of squash now (acorn, butternut, spagetti and a couple of kinds I don't know the name of) and find them all delicious.
Incidentally, I discovered why I never ate squash growing up...my dad doesn't like it, so my mom never made it.

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