When we were growing up, my mother cooked dinner every night. There was always a protein, a vegetable, and a starch, although on Sundays, when one of my grandmothers cooked dinner, the lines between the food groups were blurred by a magnificent batch of spaghetti and meatballs. Now, I am the grandmother!
Milk was the only beverage served at meals, and it was poured from an “Orange Poppy” ceramic milk pitcher. Milk bottles on the table were a big No-No. All of her serving pieces were in this pattern.
One of us kids set the table and another cleared it. There was a rhythm to the dinner hour. We ate what Mom served us. At the time, I so envied our next-door neighbors who on Monday nights got to eat TV Dinners when The Monkees came on.
Mom was a single parent who worked full-time and was a fabulous cook. I was her sous chef and worked by her side to get dinner on the table nightly. Helping with dinner was a point of pride; we were a team. While structured family meals have undergone some changes in the last fifty years, the way I prepare acorn squash remains the same. Mom knew how to prepare adult foods so children would eat them.
4 acorn squashes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
Cinnamon sugar (1 T sugar and 1 t ground cinnamon)
cracked pepper or garlic pepper
Preheat oven to 400º
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut off each end of the squash. Cut off as little as is necessary to stabilize the squash, so it stays upright.
Cut squash in half. Take a moment to admire nature’s beautiful details, and then … scoop out the seeds!
Coat the interior and top edges with EVOO.
Add one-third cup of applesauce to each squash half. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, followed by a little cracked pepper or garlic pepper. Place squash halves on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Roast for 45- 60 minutes, until fork-tender. Serve in a pretty serving dish.
I love to eat them cold from the fridge the next day so I always make extras.
Mom and I in the kitchen. She was tiny but mighty.
Cooking Dinner in an Unfocused Way, or Ode to the Rice Cooker
Brooks’s Pork Tenderloin with the Most Amazing Marinade
Judy’s Mom’s Meatloaf
Mom’s Marinated and Grilled Lamb
Mom’s Apple Pie (with a cheddar streusel topping)
Mom’s Pumpkin Pie
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Follow my photos of vegetables growing, backyard chickens hanging out, and dinner preparations on Instagram at JudysChickens.
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© 2014-2020 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.