Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is my favorite winter squash. But there’ve been days that squash is the very last thing I want to look at, think about, or cook. A day like that came last week.
This day began on unsteady legs, to begin with. I still wasn’t feeling 100% over the morning sickness, but at 17 weeks along, I figured I’d better get to the doctor at least once before we delivered. 🙂 So I made the appointment and brought my REALLY long grocery list.
I did this out of insanity and pure love for my beloved. He’d been the shopper for the last 4 months while I lay in misery on the couch. However, the poor guy was far more familiar with looking for corn bores in the field than lemon juice in aisle ten. The last time he stumbled home from a shopping trip, I’d been expecting him for three hours.
The shopping trip
So, I dressed myself – which at this point was still a monumental task. I got my shoes on the right feet, the kids in the van, and headed 35 miles to the clinic where someone was waiting to draw a gallon of blood from my arm.
After three hours at the clinic, I was tempted to crawl in the van with the boys, lock the doors, take a nap, and not move until Junior decided he/she was hungry. It took about two minutes to decide to find something to eat. Junior is not patient.
A word of advice: choosing fast food because you are starving, and eating it with a churning stomach does not make it feel better.
Then it was off to get groceries. I got about halfway through the list before I gave up, staggered through the check-out, and fell into the van. The chatter-boxes in the backseat and visions of the warm, soft bed that awaited me at home kept me going.
Getting the call
About five miles from bed home, the call came in. It was Travis. There was a chance of frost for the night. This meant one thing – the produce in the garden had to come out.
I pulled in the driveway, gathered the four boys together, my garden clippers, a wheelbarrow, and we
marched staggered toward the garden while the dream of my bed floated further and further away.
Harvesting the squash
We’d planted a large garden that spring. At that point, I wasn’t pregnant or sick and we were hoping for a good crop. I hadn’t been out to the garden in the four months since I’d been sick and it soon became apparent that God had been abundant in His blessings.
I was so tired
The grass under the nearest tree suddenly looked very soft and very inviting.
My first thought as I stepped into our field/garden of was utter horror. I couldn’t believe how many squash there were. I thought about raising the garden clippers above my head and groaning, “KILL. THE. SQUASH!” The boys would have loved it. I would have loved it too if it hadn’t sounded so tiring – or so nauseating.
I needed a nap.
A Plentiful Harvest
To make a long story short, Travis came home and we ended up backing the truck up to the garden because we were tired of hauling the wheelbarrow full of squash, mini pumpkins, and zucchini up to the house.
We harvested 5-gallon pails of onions, peppers, brussels sprouts, and cabbages. I counted 78 butternut squash and the guys were guessing the mini pumpkins were in the 150’s. I didn’t even look at the zucchini.
What should we do with it all?
What was I supposed to do with all of it? The thought of canning, blanching and freezing it all made me want to sit on the floor and cry.
Travis took pity on me and my quivering chin. We gave most of it away. We carried boxes of it to church, offered it to his co-workers, and called on family. There’s still about 40 squash in the basement, some frozen brussels sprouts in the freezer, and a corner dedicated to the pumpkins – which I still haven’t counted.
Dinner is served
But after several good nights of sleep, a few naps, and some very low-key days, I felt adventurous enough to try a new squash recipe for our supper side dish. Yum. We were in love!
If you have a basement full of squash, or one you brought home from the store, I encourage you to try this recipe.
If you love butternut squash, you'll love this baked garlicky butternut squash recipe with parmesan cheese. Your family will love this supper side dish.
Place the whole butternut squash into a 9×13 pan with about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Bake it at 400F/200C for about an hour. Once it’s soft to the touch, yet firm without being mushy, remove it and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Cut the squash in half from top to bottom. Cut the skin off of the outside and scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut the squash into 1″ cubes. Place cubes into a 2 qt. baking dish.
Combine the parsley, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over top the squash cubes and toss gently to cover.
Bake, uncovered, at 400F/200C for 50 minutes until squash is nice and tender.
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over top and return to the oven for about 5 minutes to lightly brown cheese.
Note: Winter squash is high in starch. If you're battling candida, remember to make this a limited treat. 🙂
In the end, was it all worth it? The hauling, storing, cooking, and eating of the squash? Junior thought so. At least the eating part. 🙂