I did a bit of lazy cooking today using a beautiful acorn squash and some beans that I soaked overnight. I’m leaning toward making chili in a few days, so I thought I would cook the beans ahead of time and get a few meals out of the effort.
I finally had a good excuse to pull out my big meat cleaver. The last time it was out of the knife block was back in February for a Sweeney Todd scene for a fund-raising concert for Opera Experience South East. This cleaver’s 15 minutes of fame involved being carefully wrapped in red construction paper and tape to protect the innocent, but it did look especially gruesome and lethal on stage. Today it was just a shiny, sharp, useful tool and made quick work of a tough job in prepping the squash.
Another task I need to accomplish is to get out in my yard and wrestle back some order from the mayhem of summer gone wild. Every time I go out there, I think of all the creatures that are firmly ensconced in the tangle of weeds and leaves smothering the outline of my raised beds. I have a curious lizard that comes down out of my climbing rose to look at me nearly every day. If I take away all those weeds, do I take away the bugs he still needs for food right now? I’m fairly certain I saw my last hummingbird for the season. None came to the feeder this morning while I was drinking coffee. I will miss that one loud, mean bastard that fanatically dive-bombed all the other feeder visitors, including the wasps. I always cheered for the lone female that waited until all the males were squabbling to zoom in on the hidden side to drink her fill. I hope they make it to their winter stomping grounds and stop by to visit when they return next spring.
I decided last week that I would make a concerted effort to use up some of the meat hidden in my freezer. I found a rack of ribs and figured I could get several meals out of it, and oh boy! What a treat! Eating those ribs made me sincerely miss some of the big galoots that used to gather around my table. We usually rolled up our sleeves, dispensed with utensils, and managed to smear sauce and pork from ear to ear. What a satisfaction to tuck into messy food with complete abandon.
Tonight I will eat some of that leftover pork with the kidney beans and acorn squash I cooked earlier. I thought about using the squash to make some sort of involved dish and just decided to use it as a side dish in all of its roasted simplicity. I beg you to remember that winter squash is a VEGETABLE and not a dessert! Please stop adulterating these beauties with brown sugar. Just halve them and remove the seeds. Cut them into smaller wedges, drizzle with olive oil, some salt, and pepper, and roast until tender. Mine took about an hour at 375 degrees.
What could be easier? The result is simple and good for you.