Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Comprehensively Stuffed Squash with Beet Purée

Thanksgiving Day is a family oriented holiday for me, so when my friend Chelsea organized a casual Saturday evening Thanksgiving dinner for friends, I was thrilled to be a part of it. I am beyond thankful for the generosity and unconditional love I feel from my family, and I am so glad we share a special Thursday every year to reflect on that. I am also quite thankful for my longtime supportive friends, and this new tradition of spending a night together surrounded with homemade goods was special in and of itself.

I chose to make Comprehensively Stuffed Squash and Beet Purée for the dinner. When I opened the Moosewood cookbook and saw that this squash recipe was "perfect for a holiday meal, especially Thanksgiving," I knew I had hit the jackpot!

I started by roasting two acorn squash. The stuffing for the squash consisted of many minced delights: onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery, sunflower seeds, walnuts, raisins, apricots, and bread crumbs. Now, not all of those ingredients were minced... but the majority were. Charlie is an excellent mincer (I think it has something to do with his unending supply of patience) and his help was greatly appreciated.

Everything was heated on the stove together with some lemon juice, salt, black pepper, thyme, and the most important holiday stuffing ingredient: sage! Sage looks like the dust bunnies that collect in a vacuum cleaner, but smells like Thanksgiving dinner. Great stuff, I tell ya. After stuffing the squash, half received an adornment of grated cheddar cheese. The squash was heated through in the oven prior to serving.

The beet purée was simple and pure. I made the puree from roasted baby beets, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt & peppers, and a sprink-a-dink of tarragon. It was light and fresh tasting. It went well with the squash.

I am looking forward to the Moosewood delights I am making later this week for my family's Thanksgiving dinner, which you will read about soon. Looking back on this night of friendly dinner, I felt honored and thrilled to take part in the massive gathering! I hope we will continue to do it for years to come.

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