Mackie’s Squash Dilemma
My friend, Mackie, is a natural cook, with the ability to put together whatever ingredients happen to be on hand, instinctively and without a recipe. Yesterday, knowing how I am welcoming reader ideas to this site, she was describing her squash dilemma to me in her off-hand and humorous way and I persuaded her to share it here. So, here is Mackie’s story and recipe, and a photograph of an array of squashes from the 2-acre permaculture garden of her son, Eli, and his partner, Christy, who live near Bellingham. More on Eli and Christy’s creative enterprise below.
hard squash of any sort: acorn, butternut, spaghetti, etc.
salt, pepper, nutmeg
Sherry (or Madeira or Port) and honey mixed together with a fork (a tablespoon or so
of each…enough to drizzle some over each squash serving)
Cut squash in large serving pieces (seeds scooped out) and steam until soft (15-20 minutes). Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place steamed pieces in baking dish. Insert knife in the middle of each piece and push in a small pat of butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Mix half Sherry and half honey to make enough glaze to drizzle over each piece. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes.
The squash turned out to be a spaghetti squash which I didn’t realize when I chopped into it. Although the sherry/honey glaze was invisible, all the flavours were drawn into the squash. I now have a far greater respect for the possibilities for squash consumption in the future!”
Eli and Christy have created an environmental model on their land, with green houses, water catchment systems, and solar hot water with an outdoor shower set in the cedar trees. They have built a berm about 10 metres long for growing squashes which is producing an impressive variety and volume. Along with the garden they have grown the community of chickens to 20, each with a name (mostly rescued, as well as a few volunteers who have shown up likely because they have learned that this is a vegetarian household). They can apply their varied skills to their other work, Eli doing additions and renovations including solar heating systems and Christy with organic gardening and garden design services. Christy is also active in the Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation which has a fruit garden in Mount Vernon, open to the public daily where you can explore acres of varieties of fruit trees and berry plants from all over the world.