if there is anytime better than this time to go get your bread knife and cut open a squash or pumpkin....please write in and let me know because i think it's right now! when i look at these incredible round nourishing shapes with a melody of colors that sings to every fall like feeling inside me...this place where maple leaves lyrically dance to the ground & those orange brownish hues make the only enterance we know as thanksgiving time. i made some pumpkin bread the other day (recipe coming) and it called for pumpkin puree or 1 can (15 oz) of pumpkin. i just couldn't do it.....with all these pumpkins around me at the market, on my dining room table & throughout the house....and i am telling you to cut it open but i am going to open a can? (i mean i definitely have and i will open another can this year)...for the first pumkin bread of the season... it just didn't sit write with me....so i broke open that sugar pumpkin adorning the cake plate, kept the seeds in (as they are easier to take out after) and got right to it. turn the oven to 415 or 425 convecton roast or just roast or bake for that matter...place in a casserole dish lightly laquered in olive oil & an herb or two if desired. then massage the pumpin with some love, herbs & a pinch or less of coarse kosher salt. place them flesh down & skin up. this pumpkin was going to be pureed for the bread so i did not do any herbs. for the butternut squash....i used sage which gets beautifully crisp and reusable for the topping of a soup or something special. i checked on the squash after 30 minutes or so and it needed about 15-20 more minutes (all in all about 45 - 60 minutes)... it's important that you do the check in...b/c every oven is so different & you never know how they are going unless you check in on them. you can use a fork to test the squash... allow it to get pretty soft where the fork can slide in and out without the resistance of hard flesh.
take it out and let it cool. spoon out the seeds and dig out the rest into the cuisineart....where the puree begins. you can do this in a big batch or small batches adding a tiny bit of water...or if you are pureeing for taste you can add some melted butter, cream, milk or 1/2 and 1/2 & maybe some brown sugar...as for the butternut squash you can spoon out the flash and add some water & vegan bullion or chicken broth to blend and make a soup...this is basic squash stuff so i am sorry if you squash lovers are wondering what the heck? don't worry as more is coming in terms of this being a first prep step... with that said...a lot of people, mamas, me included did not know how to do this until they learned... basics are essential and this is one basic not to miss during the holiday season. more to come.....see you in the kitchenxxx (and if you have to throw the pumpkin across the room to get it to open... sometimes it might take that...i hope you have a smooth squash opening)