The butter and the nut

We have been inundated with butternut squash. It’s the first installment on payment for an order of Christmas cookies from a local farmer. We bake cookies for him as gifts to hand out, and we get goodies that will feed us for the next year or so. I used to hate butternut squash but in recent years my opinion has changed. I, however, curse the entire time I prepare the mounds of squash for freezing. The cursing is not because baking them off is difficult in any way (as you will see). No, the cursing is the two days it takes me to bake all the squash off since we have so many.

Below are two recipes. The first is for roasting and freezing the squash, the second for cooking it up at a later date. The latter is perfect as a side for tomorrow’s feast.

Baked Butternut Squash

2 butternut squash, washed

1 T. oil

Salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the tops off the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds leaving a smooth cavity. Place squash halves on a tinfoil lined baking sheet skin side down. Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for 1 hour or until squash is tender enough for a butter knife to easily cut through.

Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop insides out into a large bowl and discard the skins. Place approximately 2 cups worth into sandwich-sized zip top bags and freeze. You should get between 4 and 6 bags worth depending on size of squash and amount you place in the bag.

Sweet and Savory Squash

This recipe is a staple at Friday night dinners and is always a hit. It is delicious the next day for lunch as well.

1 thawed package of butternut squash (approx. 2 cups)

1/2 medium onion diced

2 T. butter

2 T. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. maple syrup

Salt and pepper

1. In a large saute pan, melt butter. Add onions and cook until translucent.

2. Add sugar and stir until sugar begins to melt. Pour in syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately two minutes.

3. Stir in squash and cook until mixture begins to firm up. Season to taste.

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