As the household cook, “What’s For Dinner?” is a daily question. With some planning, I can answer this question.
For instance, having bought an unlabled ‘spaghetti squash’ at one of the local 99-cent stores, I was delighted with myself, thinking of more than a few baking/cooking possibilities with this gem of a find.
Now, I must share that I am a creative cook. What this means is, I hardly ever consult with a cookbook. I use the herbs, spices and vegetables that are available in an outside garden and a kitchen cupboard. Chop chop here, dice dice there, sprinkle and dash all over.
Having washed the outside of the squash with white vinegar and water (pesticide cleansing), I proceeded to cut it in half and scraped out the seeds. Although the squash looked a little different from other spaghetti squashes I have dealt with, I chocked that up to it being imported from Mexico, or Nicaragua, or a Spaghetti Squash Grower-Land. Whatever.
With that done, I placed both halves on a baking sheet fruit side down and stabbed the thing for a thorough baking. In the pre-heated oven it went, 350 degrees, set for an hour. I continued with its stuffing.
I am now getting excited. “Ahh.” I thought, “this is gonna be tasty!”
On the stove top I prepared a low-heat skillet with olive oil to which I added fresh scallions, fresh chopped garlic, fresh basil leaf cuttings, fresh parsley, two fresh and colorful sweet baby bell peppers with a dash of sea salt, turmeric and paprika. Mixing with a wooden spoon, the house began to smell gloriously! After this mixture became a golden brown (perfection!), I added 2 cups of ground turkey and four pre-cooked pork sausages. Sizzling continued.
Anticipation climbed. Six more minutes remained until the oven timer would alert me that the squash was done.
“Ding __ Ding __ Ding” the oven blurted.
As I proceeded to take the baking dish with aforementioned squashes out of the oven, I notice that the squash halves were unusually juicy and rather soft as opposed to my familiarity with baking such things in the past. Hmm, no matter. We’re hungry now! The enhanced fragrances overflowed in the house, enticing our appetites.
Placing each half on dinner plates, I continued to fill each with the delectable stove-top preparation.
“Dinner’s ready” I called out.
“Okay, I’ll be right there,” responded my husband. “Gosh, that smells good. What is it?” I explained all of the above as I just shared with you.
Seated in the dining room, full plates ready for attack, my husband examines what I place in front of him and then squeals “Hon, are you sure this is spaghetti squash?! It’s not! It’s melon! O M G, you baked and stuffed a melon! HaHaHaHa, etc.” Once realizing this kerfuffle, I joined him with a bellow of laughter.
No kidding. All in all, it was tasty! We ate it all gone. In fact, we enjoyed it so much, I think I’ll do it again.
A. K. Buckroth