It just sounds good, doesn’t it? Say it loudly, with emphasis, slowly enough to feel the final shhhh leave your lips. S q u a s h.
Really, it would be such a satisfying swear word.
Around here, we’re trying to train ourselves to not use the typical words that rush from our mouths without thought, since fairly soon the baby will be taking them all in. She watches our lips purse and dance, studies them like an astronomer stares at the stars. When she begins talking, she’ll use all our words. So we’re trying out old favorites, instead. Rats. Mule feathers. Fiddle sticks. Now, I’d like to add squash.
It’s squash weather. This afternoon, I looked out the window just beyond the computer. Outside, tiny flies danced above the green grass of the park across the street, lit up by the afternoon golden light. The trees that fascinate Little Bean when we walk through the neighborhood were lit from within, dark blond leaves crinkling into brown. Down the street, an orange explosion.
(A family story. When I was just over one year old, my parents were surprised to hear me say, from the back seat of the car: “Oh look, fireworks!” We were driving in autumn, and I caught a glimmer of that light on the trees from my seat.)
This is the only time of the year I crave my favorite squashes.
Give me butternut squash sprinkled with smoked paprika and good butter, baked in the oven until the flesh is melting into softness. Acorn squash baked with brown sugar, lots of salt and pepper, and an inch of water beneath it to keep it tender. And this time of year, I can feel the wet strings sticking to my hands from when we carved pumpkins for the front porch.
(Remember how gross they turned, when you forgot them out there, and the face fell into itself?)
I still haven’t made a pumpkin pie from a fresh pumpkin, however. I have so much to learn.
So I have to ask you. What are your favorite squashes? And how do you like to eat them?