This week’s recipe is one of my all-time favorites for fall or Thanksgiving. One big reason is because you can freeze it ahead of time. Not only is this a delicious casserole, it would also be a super pie recipe. Usually I bake one half of the recipe and freeze the 2nd half.
Personally I greatly dislike cutting pumpkins and squashes. I have a serious fear of the knife slipping and injuring my livelihood. Here’s how I solved that little problem:
Poke the squash a couple of times with a sharp knife. Place squash in microwave and cook for 2-3 minutes, based upon size of squash. This softens the vegetable enough so you can easily slice or carve the squash. I’m doing spaghetti squash for dinner this evening, and I’ll be following the same exact instructions. With spaghetti squash I place the halves face down on parchment paper, in a jelly-roll pan, and bake at 350 degrees for close to an hour.
There are many ways to change things around in the dish too. You know a little orange zest would be very nice against the butternut. Maple flavoring brings in a bit more ‘country’ flavor. Pumpkin could be used instead of butternut squash! Sugar could be switched out for sugar-free products. You get the picture!
This week I have some exciting news to share with my readers. On Monday, November 9th, I embark on a new career. Covid has affected many of us since last March, in many different ways. Culinary shows are currently not occurring at Silver Dollar City, and their return is truly not known. I had to make a big decision, and that my friends, was to retire.
The entire time I have been furloughed I realized how much I wanted to be actively involved in giving back to my community. To use my culinary skills to help better the lives of others. I am the new Director of the Branson West, Stone County, OACAC office. OACAC, (Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation, started in 1965) is a non-for-profit that serves 10 counties in Southwest Missouri. The major thrust of our organization is to be proactive in empowering clients to succeed in life, particularly those in poverty situations. We have many programs in place, under our umbrella and network with a multitude of services inside our county and beyond. I am truly excited about this new opportunity. After 11 years at Silver Dollar City I’m going to miss many wonderful guests, friends and employees. The decision wasn’t easy.
What about my cooking etc. You will still see me friends. Right now I am working on a new U-Tube presence, and culinary shows are probably going to pick up just as soon as Covid 19 is resolved. Everything I’ve done as an educator and as a culinary specialist will serve to enhance my new position and beyond. Remember I can travel on weekends and do speaking engagements & culinary classes.
My column will still be going, it makes a great holiday gift for friends and family, at a mere $12. A year. Visit the website, I also hope to see it upgraded, in the months to come.
“Giving back is fulfilling, it’s a ‘recipe’ worth great rewards.”
Debbie Dance Uhrig
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Butternut Squash Casserole
3 cups butternut squash (cooked & mashed)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix the above ingredients and spread in a greased one and a half quart casserole.
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cold butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Cut the cold butter into the flour and brown sugar. Stir in the chopped pecans and sprinkle over the top of the squash. Bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees. This can be mixed ahead of time and frozen. Thaw and bake. You could also use sweet potatoes for the dish instead of squash if desired. Serves 4-6 persons.
To make cutting easier pierce the rind of the squash with a parey knife, in a couple of places. Cook in microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. It does get warm, so be careful. Now you can easily cut the pumpkin or squash without the fear of cutting yourself.