People wanna know! I just left you hanging and now Christmas is coming. Who cares about a big ole blue squash at this point? Well, a good number of you do. My long-time friend, Victoria, asked me about it just this morning. We don’t talk often but when we do it’s as if we’re picking up the conversation where we left off be it a day or a year apart—you know the type.
On Thanksgiving morning I hauled the twenty-two-pound squash and the twelve-pound turkey to my car and drove to my son’s house for our tiny family gathering of just five of us immediate family members. Tyler asked where the machete was and I gasped. “Oh, no! I forgot to get it from the side of my bed. We’ll have to go with the smash-on-the-sidewalk method!”
Hey, it’s better than the time I forgot the turkey in Costa Rica. At that time it wasn’t easy to get a Thanksgiving turkey in Nosara, so I volunteered to buy one for the family from our local PriceSmart as I lived only twenty minutes away. I put it in my neighbor’s freezer in Atenas as my own freezer was full. I left for the family gathering at five in the morning to avoid the traffic. About two hours into the drive a jolt of adrenaline hit me—I FORGOT THE TURKEY!
I told my mom the neighbor went out of town and didn’t leave the key, so I couldn’t get it. Me, being a bad liar, Mom saw right through me. She shouted, “No, she didn’t! You forgot it! Admit it!”
Cringing, I shuffled my feet and mumbled, “Do you want me to drive to the city and get another one?” It wouldn’t be the first time I drove to San José, a five-hour drive and back in one day.
She laughed and said, “No, don’t worry, I’ll get Roosevelt from Super Nosara to get us one. It’ll cost double, but it’s worth it.”
Back to the Hubbard: Never having done this before, we stood back while he raised the beast over his head not knowing if it would break into manageable pieces or explode into unusable smithereens. Pow! It hit the concrete and split into several large chunks of beautiful, deep orange, meaty pieces—enough to feed a platoon! Whoo hoo!
Now what? Bake or boil? I scooped out the fistfuls of seeds and strings and put a section in the oven—no seasonings, no dotted butter, just the squash on a baking sheet. Then we cut some smaller pieces out of the shell of another piece and boiled them. We did a taste test and the baked Hubbard was far superior to the boiled. Mash it all up, add cinnamon, salt, pepper, and Plugra, my favorite unsalted butter, and ya got yourself a winner. Better than Butternut, better than Acorn, and probably the tastiest squash on the planet.
From my research, I heard you can keep the thick-shelled Hubbard for up to six months before cooking. I will start searching for it in May but most likely won’t see any until the fall of next year. I did put away a secret stash of already prepared squash in my freezer and will make a rich sherry-laced soup when I’m craving something comforting and delicious. That is if I don’t run to Gayle’s Bakery for a chocolate eclair first.
Okay, so now you know. It’s time to move on as Chanukah is here and Christmas is coming. I’m working on my next story “Menorahs on Parade!” which should be out shortly.