Who We Are
The past few years, the area where I live, Crawford County, Ohio, has seen a wonderful explosion of younger families who are embracing the joys and challenges of living off the land. Because of them, amazing things are happening which have been embraced by our community. Farmer’s markets have been created and on-farm stores have opened. Families dedicated to growing organic produce and naturally raised meats are meeting the public’s needs for locally raised foods. And at the heart of this movement are the women.
Ohio Country Journal is my attempt to share the essence of farm life, focusing on, but not limited to, women. My goal is to bring you into our circle of friendship by inviting you to share your stories and experiences with us. You don’t have to be a full time country woman to benefit from joining us; you just have to be you.
The full-time country women featured in Ohio Country Journal are an inspiration to anyone who dares to follow her dreams, whether it is to live in the country or to bring the country life-style to their urban neighborhoods.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
'Tis the Season....for SQUASH!
Noel is back with us today, sharing her methods for cooking butternut squash. Butternut and acorn squash, as well as pumpkin, are among my favorite cold weather foods.
Butternut squash is quite possibly the most popular variety of winter squash, and for good reason. As its name suggests, this veggie is buttery and sweet. And, even better, it’s a nutrient powerhouse thanks to its high fiber and vitamin content, and its low calorie count.
Before you read Noel's post, here's my little trick....I add pureed pumpkin to many recipes, especially soups (even chili). The mild flavor does not alter the recipe's overall taste while packing in a good punch of extra nutrition. I also add pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!) to casseroles and even meat loaf/meat balls. :)
I am glad that Noel chose butternut squash to share today, as I have two nice ones from the last farmers' market ready to be cooked and served. Although I never met a potato that I didn't love, I am looking forward to some orange eating today. :)
Marcheta *Orange is the New Spud (well, not really....)
Noel Lizotte, Apron Free Cooking
My grandfather was a tremendous gardener. He was typical old time New England, in that he wanted to be as self sufficient as possible. Therefore, his garden took on near epic proportions as the years passed.
I remember walking through his garden and being amazed at the many types of squash growing in the Vermont soil. Acorn, Butternut, and Hubbard are just a few of the names I remember.
These “winter squash” are so named because they ripen in the late summer and fall, then can be stored “down cellar” through much of the winter. My grandparents cellar was a place of wonder, full of bushel baskets of squash, quarts jars of canned vegetables and garden tools waiting for spring.
Thanksgiving dinner with my family usually features squash of some sort. As our proper New England heritage dictates, we drizzle a bit of maple syrup over our serving.
The crock pot method of preparing squash makes it easy to add to the Thanksgiving dinner without taking up valuable oven space.
For serving, you can place the squash, skin and all on a serving platter and allow guests to scoop their portion directly from the skin. Or you can scoop the squash from the skin and place in a serving bowl. Either presentation is pretty, especially when you use Grandma’s dishes!