Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I thought it only right that I share an “All American” recipe. Acorn squash, baked in the oven with butter and brown sugar, would be a delightful side dish to a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s certainly easy enough, but the drawback is that it requires quite a bit of oven space, which is usually at a premium on Thanksgiving Day. I have never made this on Thanksgiving, but I do serve it as a lovely and delicious side dish to almost any meal throughout the year.
The first time I ever had an acorn squash was in 1973 at the home of my newly married, childhood friend, Bev. We were both new brides and loved to entertain and try out new recipes on each other. One bite of this lightly sweetened squash, and I knew I was going home with the recipe, which I did, and have been making it ever since. Each time I struggle cutting the squash, I think of all the different kitchens in which I have fought with an acorn squash over the years, trying desperately to get my knife through it so I can could it in the oven on time. This is the hardest part of the recipe, and I have so many funny images of myself trying to do so. I still haven’t mastered this, by the way, even though my knives are a better quality now. But the struggle is well worth it. I felt so “fancy” whenever I served this in the 1970s. Now, I just feel thankful for all the memories.
You can find the recipes for two of my favorite, family Thanksgiving recipes in the archives: Mom’s Candied Yams and Tortellini in Brodo.
RECIPE: serves 4 to 8
2 acorn squash
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP brown sugar
- Cut ( careful, now) squash in half.
- Scoop out the seeds and orange strings.
- Put squash, cut side down, in a baking pan with about 1/2 inch of water.
- Cover with aluminum foil.
- Put in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
- Take pan out of oven and gently (and carefully) turn the squash over.
- Divide the butter and brown sugar amongst the squash halves. Cover again with the foil and put back in oven for 15 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and remove the foil. Baste the flesh of the squash with the butter and sugar mixture. Return to oven without foil, and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, basting occasionally, until flesh is cooked well.