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Barnacles and Swiss Cheese, or How to Cook a Squash in 5 Easy Steps, or Why I’m Glad My Husband Works from Home

I love to cook recipes with winter squash–butternut, acorn, spaghetti squash; we’re big fans of them all. But I hate hate hate trying to hack the things open so that I can cook them. The skins are so tough, the knife slips and slides . . . anyway, that’s why I was delighted when I read the tip on some cooking site online that you can just pop them in the microwave whole and cut them open afterwards, when the skins are nice and soft. Wow–totally easy, right? Should you want to give it a try yourself, here’s what I did:

1. Wash squash and prick skin all over with a fork

2. Place in a shallow baking dish and microwave for approximately 15 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. (15 minutes is good for a medium size acorn squash).

3. While taking the squash out of your over-the-stovetop microwave, manage to fumble and drop the entire setup–shallow baking dish, squash and all, directly into the pot of boiling pasta you have on the stove. Thereby sending up a tidal wave of boiling water that splashes ALL OVER YOU.

4. Shriek for your husband to come and fish the acorn squash and bowl out of the boiling pasta while holding your scalded hand under the cold water faucet and trying to reassure your wide-eyed children. (Both the squash and my hand were fine).

Now, you might think, given how that whole experience turned out, that I would have been wary of trying the squash-microwave trick again. But no. I also had a spaghetti squash. So a few nights later, I tried cooking it in the microwave. Be sure to prick the spaghetti squash ALL over, the instructions said, to make sure that it doesn’t explode. So, my 5 step process:

1. Dutifully prick squash all over with a fork.

2. Place in microwave for 20 minutes (it was a pretty large squash).

3. At some point during the cooking process, jump a mile when the door to your microwave abruptly BURSTS open because the squash inside has exploded with a bang like a firecracker.

4. Repeat step 4 above (shriek for husband), who comes in, eyes the carnage, and says, You know what you need? You need a camera. Yes, that’s really what he said. Evidence below.

5. Spend an hour cleaning approximately 6 billion strands of spaghetti squash off of the inside of the microwave and pretty much every other nearby surface of the kitchen while above-mentioned wide-eyed children look on.

If there is some cosmic system for bonus points to be earned such situations, then quite frankly I want it credited to my account that on neither occasion did I utter one single bad word, not even “darn.” Although to be honest, darn would have been so inadequate that it would have been totally unsatisfying to say anyway. However, just yesterday my six year old made a mistake, and having to my knowledge never heard an actual ‘bad word’, came out with the exasperated expletive, “Oh, barnacles and swiss cheese!” Isn’t that completely and totally awesome? I’m going to have to remember it myself for the next time I’m frustrated. Or the next time I try to cook a squash. :-)

In other news, thanks to a superhero effort by my awesome husband, Kitty Bennet’s Diary is available NOW on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. I’ll make a formal announcement here and in an e-mail to anyone who’s signed up to be alerted once it’s available on all channels (Kobo, Smashwords, Apple, etc), but Nook/Kindle readers can buy it now, and hopefully it will be available everywhere else within the next few days.

This entry was posted Saturday, March 16th, 2013 at 6:02 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Barnacles and Swiss Cheese, or How to Cook a Squash in 5 Easy Steps, or Why I’m Glad My Husband Works from Home”

  1. Maria (BearMountainBooks) Says:
    March 24th, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    It’s possible that you would have to use a knife and puncture the squash much deeper than a mere fork. Or perhaps even cut a hole or two near the top? Or cook it less. The heat obviously built up too high. My mother did this with a potato once…that’s worse to clean up. I swear hot potato should be used in commercial glues.

    Congrats on getting the book out!

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"...Anna Elliott has fashioned a worthy addition to the Arthurian and Trystan and Isolde cycles... This Isolde steps out from myth to become a living, breathing woman and one whose journey is heroic." -- Margaret George, author of Helen of Troy

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