With two day trips to Charlottesville and three to DC, I’ve hardly been home. But when I am, the theme has definitely been “fun with squash.”

An aside about grocery stores. I can totally see why my mom shops for the apocalypse twice a month.

I’m can’t believe how many people still pay with checks here.  I have time to scan at least one whole tabloid waiting in line, especially because at the local Giant, Bloom, and Shopper’s Food Warehouse, there are never more than four–at most–lanes open.  I have yet to be able to find tahini, and two of the three only sell farm raised fish.  (Which I’m not totally against, but I’ll save the $10.)

To Fredericksburg’s credit, SFW has an amazing Latino food section, and I can find tamarinds, which are a pain in the arse to cook with but worth it, and the very rare soda with which to make tinto de verranos.

Technically, I’m not supposed to be grocery shopping.  My mom left on a 2 week trip last week and encouraged me to treat this time like “Iron Chef” and cook with what she had.  She was saying this to someone who went to a grocery store at least every other day, sometimes twice a day, in Charlottesville, and I think she knew I would soon be dropping the habit here.

Two notes about butternut squash recipes:

– I was unable to find any recipes for butternut squash pasta.  I could find ravioli fillings aplenty.  The proportion I ended up with, kind of improvising based on reading a bunch of recipes for other veggie pasta doughs, was a quarter of a small butternut squash (pre-cooked at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, cooled to room temp, then diced).  I beat 2 eggs in the mixer first, then added the squash, then gradually added 1-3/4 cups flour.  This made pasta for two.  I dressed it with butter, sauteed onions, salt and pepper.

– I was also unhappy with the butternut squash soup recipes I found.  I wanted one that would incorporate onions but not carrots.  I eventually went with an Epicurious recipe that called for orange juice.  I really thought the proportions were off when I read it, and I recommend cutting the OJ in half.  My dad loved it, though.  (I made something else.)

I’m getting really attached to my mom’s Joy of Cooking, published in 1974. I have a recent edition, but hers has 34 years of notes in it about recommended measurements, and I think it should be considered for the Google Book Project!

Anyway, cooking isn’t the only thing I’ve been doing with squash…

My Jack O’Bama. My dad’s alone, this election.


Norman the Norwich. Everyone’s “little buddy.”


Squash pasta.


Cilantro pasta.


Chicken stuffed with pear and goat cheese.