So my friend Nikki just approached me asking : “Any suggestions on how to get into those squash??? I just had my knives sharpened and I still found it a challenge to slice through that thing!”
I find many times the thought of preparing squash a bit daunting.
People have been eating squash for over 10,000 years. Natives grew squashes mainly for their seeds and, as they contained little flesh, squashes were hollowed out and used as cooking utensils, musical instruments and sometimes as a gourd (flask) to carry beverages.
The squash originated in America. Christopher Columbus brought squash back to Europe from the New World, and like other Native American foods, their cultivation was introduced throughout the world by Portuguese and Spanish explorers. So why do I have a tough time wrestling with mine? I seem to think about and plan my strategy carefully, as I stare at the Cucurbita Maxima, aka squash, for some time, examining all angles, looking for that special “sweet-spot” where I can begin my tackle approach. I stealthily pull out my trusty chef’s knife, take careful aim at the bit that I think is the softest part, and thrust the blade through the tough armour-like rind, into the hollow seed-filled chasm below, hoping to miss my fingers along the way. Some of these tough-skinned orbs could be used as cannon fodder, especially the little Hubbard Squash, which by the way is my personal favourite.
What I suggest, from my research lately, is that you get yourself an arsenal of tools when wrestling a squash. One helpful tool would be a rubber mallet, that you would use to hammer the blade through, once you have made the first cut, and find the knife stuck inside, solid. Make sure to hammer on the back of the blade, not the handle part of your knife, also useful at those times when you need to “knock yourself out”. The other is a hand-saw, yes folks, a hand-saw from the gentlemen at your friendly local hardware store. Don’t use your husband’s saw from the workshop, or he may have some words for you the next time he is doing a project…The last thing I strongly recommend is a very sturdy large tablespoon or ice cream scoop to out the seeds. Remember you can actually husk the seeds and eat them raw or roasted with butter and salt, yummm. These three are essential in getting into the creamy smoothness the squash has to offer after being roasted with butter, put in a stew or turned into a hearty sauce. I love butter and maple syrup inside mine at Thanksgiving time or with a roast or meatloaf on those cold fall and winter days.
With my research, I discovered many sites and blogs online. Two of which I loved the most are:
recipetips.com : #mce_temp_url#
Butteryum : #mce_temp_url#
Yummm, Enjoy your Squash! L.L