Wednesday, February 08, 2012

My Sweeter Side

To hear me tell the story of my childhood you would think I was sorely abused.  We had no candy drawer.  For years my mother convinced me Ritz crackers were "cookies."  My brother and I clamored for Grape Nuts cereal because we were allowed to sprinkle a little sugar on top.  And squash was one of our favorite side dishes with dinner.

Baked squash.  Which my dad would sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.  It was as close to candy as you could get on a non-holiday.  (Because on a holiday we would cover yams with marshmallows - another favorite.  Yipes...I'm beginning to understand myself so much better as I type this.)

The sweetness of the squash, the sweetness of the sugar - anyone still wondering how to get their kids to eat vegetables?  While this is surely not the healthiest way to eat squash, seconds of this isn't going to be nearly as detrimental to your waistline as a couple scoops of ice cream.

Most of you are already familiar with sweet winter squashes.  We eat pumpkin pie without ever once thinking about the fact that the pumpkin is a vegetable.  Squash pairs well with almost every kind of sweetener - molasses, brown sugar, even maple syrup.  Here I used maple syrup on hot baked squash.  If you're going to go this route, I heartily recommend using real maple syrup - not that stuff that is maple-syrup colored sugar.  The complexity of real maple syrup better complements the squash and makes it more interesting. Served alongside a nice cinnamon roasted pork and you won't even want dessert.

Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash
1 Tbsp butter
maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half and remove the seeds.  Sprinkle the cut sides with salt and place cut side down in baking dish.  Bake 45 minutes.
  2. Place 1/2 Tbsp of butter on each half and drizzle with maple syrup. 


  1. Now this is my kind of side dish. And sometimes dessert.

  2. I was always amazed at friend's houses when they had a candy drawer. More so that there was actually candy left in the drawer. Probably for the best that we didn't have one at our house.

  3. This squash is as good as any dessert. You poor kid! Make up for all those lost treats!

  4. This squash is as good as any dessert. You poor kid! Make up for all those lost treats!

  5. Roasted squash is the best part of the winter months. Especially with some real maple syrup.

  6. So funny! My mom LOCKED her baking in a cupboard with a padlock! We weren't even allowed to have an apple without asking and unless she was home. Sweets were never an option. I always have loved squash exactly like this too... even without the butter. It is just so yummy!

  7. I have made this with honey but I like the idea of maple syrup. I fill acorn squash with such fillings as rice and cranberries or apples in cinnamon sugar. I like to create new fillings for it.