I have a personal problem that I need to address today. I can’t love winter squash. I keep trying to make it (acorn, butternut, that one that looks like it should just be a pumpkin) and am continually underwhelmed. This goes against two of my most important blog topics: eating seasonally and loving fall. It is very grave news.
Breaded squash, roasted squash, squash puree, squash pancakes from leftover mashed squash, squash soup—I haven’t loved any of them (and I didn’t even like some!). Is it something about Muzgaash that won’t allow these overgrown gourds to sweeten properly? If we don’t like squash this time, I told Alex, I won’t make it again.
I decided to try one last squash recipe in an attempt to make myself into a squash person. Nut-stuffed delicata squash. (Skip the sage, use a smaller onion, and add some Brussels sprouts.) Oh good! A vegetarian recipe, that’ll be a nice change for me. Except. I decided to add bacon.
Great idea! I will stuff this squash with everything I love about fall and then I will like squash! Bacon, nuts, Brussels sprouts, let’s do this. Except. As I snuck a piece of bacon from the pan, I ran into trouble. Apparently, this bacon is from some other universe where they don’t make bacon salty.
I. Salted. Bacon.
This is so not okay.
I want to dance fight the person who made this unsalted bacon. You didn’t make this cured pork salty? Are you serious, bro? [Dance moves that shock you].
The fates were telling me something: This isn’t going to work, they said. You can’t trick yourself into liking squash. We won’t let you. We will ruin bacon first!
Except. The squash was pretty tasty. The stuffing was creamy, with a nice crust. The nuts were crunchy, the Brussels sprouts tender. The squash was sweet—though not as sweet as I imagined. Maybe I need to start imagining squash this way. (Maybe I need to roast the squash for a little bit first, before adding the filling—giving it more time to get candy sweet. (Maybe I need to add maple syrup!)) Maybe I need to make this squash again.
(I should confess, when I think about making this recipe again, I imagine it without the squash—with some cubed cornbread, browned sausage, and a little chicken stock—that stuffing would be an outrageous side dish!)