my note for next time

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

So by now, we are all sick of hearing about the pumpkin ice cream I made for Halloween. (Yes, it was my first homemade ice cream. Yes, it went over fabulously.)

But I have just one last thing to say about that ice cream: I could've made it with butternut squash instead.

That's right -- according to Jeff Cox, my favorite media contact and a fantastic food and wine writer, I could've avoided the nasty canned pumpkin altogether.

I e-mailed Jeff earlier today because I was reading Bon Appétit and the recipe for "Perfect Pumpkin Pie" called for canned pumpkin. And there was even a photo of said can. I thought it was weird that a gourmet food magazine would ask you to buy canned ingredients, so I asked Jeff if using fresh pumpkin is ever an option or if people avoid it because it's a pain to obtain or something like that. And I told him about my pumpkin ice cream and how I sort of felt like I was cheating because I used canned pumpkin. (Can you say something is "from scratch" if you're using canned ingredients?)

Jeff responded to the canned pumpkin with complete horror: " ... that stuff is ug-LEE!"

And this is what he recommended as a substitution:

Go get a butternut squash and, using a cleaver or heavy knife, split it down the middle. Spoon out the seeds from the seed cavity. Place the halves, cut side up, in a 9x12 baking dish. Add an inch of water in the bottom. Place on a middle rack in the oven at 350 F. Cook for one hour or an hour and a quarter, or until a toothpick inserted in the flesh goes in easily and comes out clean. Allow to cool, then spoon the flesh into a measuring cup and use whatever amount the recipe calls for. Use this for pumpkin pies, pumpkin ice cream, whatever. Butternut squash -- like jack o' lantern pumpkins -- is a winter squash -- but a superbly flavored and fine-fleshed winter squash.

Wish I had known this earlier. I'm a huge fan of butternut squash. (And the Winemaker's family farms butternut squash. Which makes me think this is fate.)


KPL said...

Hey! Did you take that photo? Either way, I like it. And I'll have to try to add butternut squash to my diet . . . sounds good.

And, no, I don't think "scratch" includes cans. Otherwaise I've been making chili from "scratch" my whole life!

Love your blog by the way. Hope your manfriend/winemakerboy comes home soon . . . with purple hands!

Michaela said...

Yup -- I did take that photo -- it's from two years ago, when I made Thanksgiving dinner for the first time.

And interesting that you should mention chili ... I just ate some.

And, uh, it was "from scratch." I used a can opener and everything.

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