Ode to Butternut Squash

Butternut squash has a special place in my heart, both due to nostalgia and practical reasons. When we first moved into our new home, we were on a limited budget and between jobs. So here we were with a house we outright owned, but not quite sure how we would pay the other bills. Of course, that left us with a very limited food budget of $50 a week. How were we going to eat well – and enough? – on $50 a week?

Enter the butternut squash

Out of all the vegetables we planted in our first year, this was the one that got us through winter.

Before that winter, I thought of the butternut squash as a special vegetable, one only served at Thanksgiving and always mashed with butter. Mmm, buttery butternut squash! I dislike mashed sweet potatoes, so the butternut squash was my personal go-to orange veggie. However, when you have it again and again – even if you like it – it can get old quickly. If you’re at a loss for ideas, check these out. These are some of the ways my husband learned to serve butternut squash:

  • Mashed
  • Cubed and baked
  • Butternut squash “French fries”
  • Roasted

We had fun trying different variations and pairing the squash with what we cooked. Granted, we couldn’t make anything super fun or fancy that year – there was certainly no squash with kale and salmon or risotto. Everything we cooked was fairly basic, but the squash brought color and flavor to our dinners, and it was readily available since we harvested so much from our garden. It lasted into January of the following year!

This year, I know we’ll enjoy the butternut squash, but in an even more varied way. We’ve harvested quite a bit, but we’re waiting to use it until the moment is right. This is one of the luxuries of growing your own food – knowing it is readily available when you plan your meals and not having to buy it elsewhere.

Ways to Prepare Butternut Squash

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