To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Monday, November 1, 2010

You must be kidding me!

See that....thing....below? Uh, that's a squash. No, it is not a gourd. It is an honest to goodness squash. A Cashew Squash, to be exact. Yeah, and that jug it's leaning on? Yep, that's a gallon jug of baking honey just to give you an idea of how big this beast was. I admit, I was intimidated by this baby and it sat on my kitchen counter, taunting me, mocking me for 3 weeks. I can't tell you the number of times I heard, "what is that?" when people came to visit. I began to refer to it as my nemesis.

But I'm a determined soul, if nothing else, and this weekend, after finally tiring of the relentless mocking, I fetched my biggest knife and chopped her up into pieces (in honor of Halloween?). It wasn't easy because even my biggest knife wasn't really big enough. I think a chain saw would have been in order. It took two loads in the oven to get it all roasted, but now my freezer is chock full of delicious Cashew Squash. It's much milder than I thought it would be, but still delicious. Squash Quinoa Soup anyone?

Squash Quinoa Soup

2-4 cups cooked squash ( like my soup thicker so I add the full 4 c)
3 T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 c Quinoa, well rinsed
4 c vegetable broth
1/4 t red pepper powder
Salt and pepper to taste

In large pot, saute onion in oil about 5 minutes, until transparent. Add minced garlic and saute for just a moment until you start to smell the garlic. Add Quinoa and squash and saute 2-3 minutes. Add vegetable broth, red pepper powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Notes: You can use any squash you prefer and the monster squash is not necessary, but it was fun. I added the red pepper because this particular squash is very mild, but I think I'll try it this way with butternut squash too.

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