When we were growing up, my mother cooked dinner every night. There was always a protein, a vegetable, and a starch except on Sundays when one of my grandmothers cooked dinner and the lines between the food groups were blurred by the magnificent bowl of spaghetti and meatballs on the table. Milk was the only beverage served and it was poured from the “Orange Poppy” ceramic milk pitcher. Milk bottles on the table were a big No-No with Mom.
The table was always set, and food was served in pretty serving bowls that dotted the table. We ate what Mom cooked. At the time, I so envied my next door neighbors who got to sit in front of the television and have TV Dinners.
Mom was a single parent, worked full-time, and was a fabulous cook. I was her sous chef and worked by her side to get dinner on the table. 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 “natural” applesauce
Cinnamon sugar (1 T sugar and 1 t ground cinnamon)
Mise en Place:
Preheat oven to 400º
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut off each end of squash. Cut off as little as is necessary to stabilize the squash so it will stand upright.
Cut squash in half. Admire nature’s bounty and beauty and then scoop out seeds. .
Coat the interior and top edges with EVO.
Add a quarter-cup, or more, of applesauce to each squash half. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar followed by a little cracked pepper. Place squash halves on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Roast for about one hour, until browned and fork-tender. Serve in a pretty serving dish.
Mom and I in the kitchen. She was tiny, but strong.
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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© 2014-2019 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.