Monday, November 22, 2010
I may occasionally be late on deadlines, but I would never fail to honor a commitment--especially to a squash. Therefore, I felt it my sacred duty to spend the day cooking my beautiful bunch of squashes and making them into squash truffles (and do it right this time), roasted stripetti squash (I owe it to my CSA--second half of this post explains why), pumpkin spice syrup (but with homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned, because I've got it) and pumpkin butter (I'll just make it up as I go).
They've been waiting so patiently. See? See how long-suffering they are? Just waiting, waiting to be made into something delicious? Because they just know they have it in them?
First, I roasted them for about 15 minutes so they would soften up enough to cut and scoop. Then, I returned them to the oven to get nice and soft.
After they were fork-tender, I scooped all the squash to make 4 cups, and scooped the pumpkin separately, to make the pumpkin recipes. I pureed everything in the VitaMix to make a beautiful, silky, creamy squash puree and pumpkin puree, respectively. I am here to tell you, the VitaMix truly makes a complete puree--no straining necessary. It's beautiful.
For the squash truffles, I heated the squash puree on low heat, as instructed in the recipe--but two hours later, it will wasn't "very dry." I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but it just doesn't want to firm up into anything I could possibly roll. Maybe it's the weather. I added the almond butter, syrup, vanilla, and salt. I tried to drop a few onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment. They weren't very round. Finally I gave up and stirred in a bunch of grated coconut. This made it shape-able, so I rolled it into balls, put a few chocolate chips in the middle of each one, and put them on parchment on a baking sheet. Put them in the refrigerator to see if they will firm up any further. More on that later.
For the pumpkin syrup, I measured out 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1-1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup Florida crystals, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice. Boiled the heck out of it, and yum! I've been scooping the stuff into my coffee cup ever since.
For the pumpkin butter, I combined the remaining pumpkin puree with 1 cup of orange juice, 1/2 cup apple syrup (I used up all my maple syrup and I happened to have apple syrup from a local farm), and another tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (I'm going to need more of this!). I boiled it until it was thick and yummy. I've been spooning the stuff onto toast ever since.
Finally, I "roasted the heck" out of the stripetti squash (as instructed). The shells, blackened, contained the most delicious carmelized squash! Wow. I take it back, I take it all back, what I said about stripetti squash before! I've been eating it all by itself all weekend, and also put some into my lentils.
I spent most of Sunday and most of today so far eyeing those unfinished squash truffles in the refrigerator--with suspicion. I'll finish them before I leave for Thanksgiving--which will not be vegan so I guess I'd better bring something--something more substantial than squash truffles, but they might make it into the car, too.
Anyway, the squash and I had fun. We laughed. We cried. It was better than cats. Now I'm ready to have a great holiday--you do, too! As soon as Thanksgiving is over, Christmas recipes are fair game--and I just saw a recipe in Better Homes & Gardens for coconut and grapefruit gumdrops...