15 August 2012

Idiot's Recipe: Acorn Sqash Dessert

Acorn squash is nutritious, delicious, and makes the perfect dessert. Acorn squash is one of my favorite parts of winter. Even if you are an idiot, you can succeed at making an amazing Idiot's Acorn Squash Dessert. Except if you are in Cape Town and no one seems to have it anywhere. Wistfully I share with you my dead-easy recipe, which I have written to emulate how I would have liked recipes to read when I first started cooking:
Idiot's Acorn Squash Dessert (serves 2)
one (1) acorn squash
two lumps of brown sugar
some aluminum foil
some vegetable oil
some butter or else olive oil
a baking sheet

1. Obtain squash from farmer's market, store, or other squash-obtaining location. Pick out a good one. You will know which one to pick for it will call your name. Hold them up to your ear one by one. Do you hear it? If not, find one that is not too light; not too big; and both green and orange in color. Call its name. It will answer. (Note: This may involve an exchange of money, so bring your wallet or other money-conveyance mechanism.)

2. Regard squash quizzically. Marvel at its compact deliciousness. Ponder how it might have been the ball for a very strange ancient sport. Invent this sport. Play this sport. Be careful not to drop the squash -- at least not on the cat. Again.

3. Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or 200 Celsius. Choose one. If your oven measures temperature in kelvin, you may be in the science lab; go home and start your cooking there. (Speaking of ovens -- you do have an oven, right? I know, I know -- I did not list it in the ingredients section, so you might not have thought to pick one up at the store. In a pinch, visit a neighbor's house and borrow their oven.)

4. Cut the squash in half. This ordinarily requires the use of a sharp knife and the application of a modicum of force. Take appropriate safety precautions (e.g., safety goggles; chain-mail gloves; and finding someone else to do it).

5. Remove seeds from squash. Place them in a bowl. Blindfold a young cousin. Tell him you are growing alien organs in your spare time for fun and profit. Stick his hand in the bowl. Share the amusement with the entire family.

6. Coat the cleaned squash halves with some vegetable oil. The insides of the squash. The fleshy bit. Not the outside. You do not want to eat that. Okay, fine, I will speak for myself on that one.

7. Place squash halves cut side down on the aluminum foil. Place this foil on your baking sheet. (What is that? You say you do not have a baking sheet? But I listed it in the ingred-- okay, fine, fine. Just triple up on the foil and proceed.) 
[Pro-tip: Aluminum foil may be sold as "aluminium foil" in the UK and former British colonies. Do not be fooled -- it is still aluminum foil. In other countries, you are probably not going to get very far on the squash-buying thing anyway so I will not bother translating those for you.

8. The oven should be hot by now, unless you forgot to turn it on. (If you forgot to turn, repeat step 4. But do not accidentally get so caught up in following the steps that you cut the squash into quarters and perhaps even remove seeds that do not exist.) Put the baking sheet (or triple-layered foil) into the oven.

9. Let things sit for thirty (30) minutes. Take a quick nap during this time (set an alarm!) or prepare the rest of your dinner, which I assume you will be heating up in the microwave.

10. Check on the squash. Do not be scared. It is not that hard to do. Please calm down. I will tell you exactly what to look for. Remove the baking sheet/foil/squash combo from the oven, preferably using oven mitts or a folded towel or a high tolerance for pain. Take a fork (you do have a fork, right? I did not list that in the ingredients section either.) and stick in the squash flesh. If the fork goes all the way through with relative ease, move on to step 11. If not, put the sheet/foil/squash back in the oven. (Alternately, lose your cool and forget the whole thing.)

11. Place squash halves flesh side-up back on the foil/sheet. Put a generous dab of butter (or a tsp or so of olive oil) in each half. Rub it around with your hands to coat the flesh. (Ouch! I should have told you to use a spoon to rub it, but I was feeling vindictive after we went through all the yelling about checking on the squash. I know that is not the right answer. But I have feelings too. Fine. Be angry. I will just wait here while the squash gets cold. Okay then.) 

12. Put a lump of brown sugar in each half. Rub it around -- yes, with a spoon this time -- until it gets melty. (Yes, melty is a technical cooking term. What would you know anyway?!)

13. Place squash back in oven, using the foil and/or baking sheet in the manner that you have used it throughout the recipe. (No, not as a funny hat!) Bake for a few minutes. What is that? How many is a few? A few is a few is a few. Okay, 3.72 minutes exactly. Or else it will explode.

14. Remove from oven. Eat, preferably using a spoon.

15. Recoil in pain because you did not let the squash cool down. Drink cold water while you let the squash cool down.

16. Eat again, this time with great gusto and excessive "yum"-type noise-making.

[ Next time on "Idiot's Recipe": oh, let's just eat out. ]

1 comment:

Jeff said...

17. Turn off the oven. Hey, you. Hello? Hello?! Uh oh.

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