Monday, November 21, 2011

Ice Skating

This year is flying. I can't believe it's already the week of Thanksgiving. Late November means a few things to me: family, pie, loathing the end of Daylight Saving Time, and Ice Skating.
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This year I convinced my coworker Brian to meet me at 6 am for some skating and bagels before work on opening day. We had a blast. He's currently looking for skates so we can spend the winter enjoying the ice. I hope with snowshoeing and ice skating I'm able to be outside and stay active this winter. It's hard to get moving when the couch is so comfortable and the house is so warm (confession - I'm putting off going for a run by blogging).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Winter Squash Taste Test

There aren't many choices when it comes to local produce in Iowa in the winter. The exception to that is winter squash. John and I are both fans of butternut squash. I am less of a fan of acorn squash, but with enough butter and brown sugar I find it unoffensive. Spaghetti squash is OK, but not something I would choose to make.

I knew there were more varieties of winter squash than you find in the grocery store aisles, but I knew nothing about them. I decided to take advantage of the second to last farmers' market and check out some squash. For just three dollars we were able to do an heirloom winter squash taste test.

First up - the delicata.
It has a lot of seeds, which I scraped out.

Next up -Perhaps a Red Kuri squash? I'm not sure of the name on this one. I don't remember what the nice people from Coyote Run said it was, but I don't think it was Red Kuri. I just googled winter squash and after about six pages Red Krui was the one that looked the most like this.
Regardless of the name, it was really easy to clean. I like that.

Last up - Turban Squash
This one looked the coolest, but was the most difficult to clean.

Once cleaned I put them all in a baking dish and put a bit of butter and brown sugar in each half. I decided to dress them the way my Mom does. You really can't go wrong with cooking like my Mom.

The house smelled amazing while these baked. I cooked them at 350 for about an hour. I started to check them for tenderness after 30 minutes.

In the end, I cleaned my plate and expanded my taste horizons. John didn't like any of them, so I would say if you hate acorn squash and don't love butternut squash you might want to pass on them.

The delicata was delicious. It tasted like a cross between a sweet potato and a butternut squash.....but better. I bought five at the last market and hope to find them at the winter market in a few weeks. I have one for dinner once a week.

The Red Kuri squash was also good. It tasted like a butternut squash. I would buy it again if delicata wasn't available. I like that it is a personal sized squash. I can have a squash, John can have a tuna melt, and we're both happy.

The Turban squash tasted like an acorn squash. I ate my half, but John gave up. I wouldn't buy this kind again as it would take far too much butter and brown sugar for it to be tasty enough for me to eat.

What is your favorite winter squash? How do you prepare it?