Sunday, November 25, 2012

Meatless Monday: Squash Tales

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It seems appropriate to use this post-holiday post to regale you with tales about what became of the magnificent hubbard squash we bought a couple of weekends ago! 

You may recall that our great squash weighed in at 20.79 lbs. — about the size of a small to medium turkey. My wish was to carve it into two reasonably equal pieces for roasting in the oven. Its size and thick skin caused me some angst for a few days.  

James Beard had written about hubbards chopped to pieces with hatchets in barns. A friend told me of a grandmother who had used a hammer and chisel. 

I turned to YouTube where I found a video of a man putting his hubbard into a garbage bag and dropping it onto the pavement from a second story window. I could never do that to my beauty.

This was not a problem I could tackle on my own. Here is my patient and adroit husband’s solution. 

  • He gently hammered a newly sharpened cleaver along the hubbard’s lengthwise halfway point, in small taps, until he had gone around the squash’s circumference.
  • Voilá! The squash neatly fell apart into two pieces.
  • We then removed the seeds and lightly greased the interior with olive oil.
  • With a little work we made the pieces fit upside down on two baking sheets.
  • We roasted them in a 350° oven. About 1 -1/2 hours later, the squash was tender and ready to be scooped from its shell, which, by the way, was as thick as shoe leather.

We scooped out lots of squash — some 5 qts. The hubbard’s taste was as I had remembered, sweeter than acorn, not as strongly “squashy” as butternut, and less stringy than either. It was the perfect taste and consistency for the pies and casseroles I had in mind.

What became of our great squash? We ate some unadorned, fresh from the oven, and put a quart of the same in the freezer.

We transformed the remainder into two large and several small squash casseroles and two of James Beard’s fine pies — alas, all history now.

One of the two, 9 x 13" casseroles

One of the two “damned fine” pies (in the words of James Beard)

Maybe I’ll have to buy two hubbards next year… 

For more on the hubbard squash, check out my earlier post on the subject. And if you are curious about squash casserole, check out my recipe and use whatever winter squash you have on hand, about 2 cups for a single batch. 

Happy Monday! Thanks for reading.

I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”


  1. I had to laugh when I saw the hammer and cleaver! I bet the squash tasted great though!

  2. It was. Will definitely do this again next year!