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Squash It!

Close and faithful readers of Savoring Kentucky—bless you—may recall the extravagant bounty that came to us last week as a gift from Hickory Lane Farm in Half Way, Kentucky, near Bowling Green. That gift included four types of winter squash, and joined a big gift of Red Kuri squash from Elmwood Stock Farm and a Seminole pumpkin from Seedleaf.

While all these squashes are wonderful keepers, The Gardener harvested a good supply of butternut squash from his guest gardening gig at 4th Street Farm this summer, now waiting contentedly in the basement for their turn in the roasting pan.

A mix of winter squashes ready for roasting: cut and rubbed with a seat-of-the-pants blend, below;  seeds and pith extracted for the neighborhood chickens, above. (Better people than we are might clean, roast, and eat those seeds, but at least we put them to good use!)

What to do? Cook for a crowd. Cornbread Supper every Monday—you are always invited—helps us manage big incoming veggie tides. This prep took about 15 minutes, most of it cutting and scraping out the seeds. Without a recipe, in a hurry, the rub had to be that old-fashioned gold standard: use what you have.  A bit of olive oil, sorghum, chili powder, cayenne, cinnamon, onion powder, allspice, fresh lemon juice and zest, and salt; moderately slow roasting in a 350 degree oven for nearly an hour, and yum. Hints of sweet, savory, sour, salty, and spicy, all highlighting the sweet, smooth, warming comfort that is a well-grown winter squash. Lucky us: that's what fall tastes like in Kentucky.

The finished squashes, edges very slightly crispy and caramelized.

In Classic Kentucky Meals, I make the case that winter squash is so good it need only be baked until done to be enjoyed, whether the cook has time for any adornments or not. And it is flexible: roast first, season later. Or put plain baked squash on the table for each individual eater to season. It's wonderful, this nutritious, delicious Kentucky food.

Sponsors included in this post: Elmwood Stock Farm. See more sponsors here and in the site footer.

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