Baked Butternut Squash with Pear and Apple

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I am not proud to announce this is my first cooked or baked meal since the massively disappointing disencouraging event of Christmass. It was traumatizing enough to keep me away from the kitchen for a solid 2 weeks minus my ritual oatmeal for breakfast. I’ve been giong out and ordering in everyday for lunch and dinner and at a certain point it became so soulfully anti-nourishing and nauseating that I figured I should quit being a drama queen and get back on the bandwagon. I actually made some vegetable soup but it’s not really worth writing about. I’ve been looking at this recipe from Joy of Cooking for the last 2 weeks and finally decided it was time. I figured it would be an easy and filling multi-palate side dish to some meat and since I didn’t have any meat I just ate it as they were as my main meal. It was quite filling from the squash but my overall judgement ain’t so high. Perhaps it’s the fact that the squash was a bit undercooked, or that the squash was completely tasteless, not even the usual squash taste had evaporated. It was just the sauce and the fruits that I tasted. It was quite disappointing. Also I haven’t been the biggest fan of baking apples, especially seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg and other bitter/astringent spices. It turns my stomach and makes me uneasy, don’t know why. The addition of the raisins and the pears were also enough to affirm I don’t like baked fruits when it’s not a dessert and especially when mixed with such spices. I’m not a big fan of pear unless they are the oversized gigantic korean pears that are crunchier and juicier. I will try another piece of this recipe tomorrow and hopefully give it the benefit of the doubt.

Recipe:

– Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease a baking pan large enough to hold the squash.

– Place cut side down in the baking pan: 2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeds and strings removed (I used butternut, maybe that’s where I went wrong?)

– Add 1/4 inch hot water to the pan, and bake for 45 minutes.

– Meanwhile, mix in a medium bowl:

2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and diced

1/4 cup dried currants or raisins

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Grated zest of 1 small orange

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg

– Melt in a large skillet over medium heat:

2 tablespoons butter

– Add the apple mixture and cook, stirring, until the fruit is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

– Stir in 1/4 cup apple cider or orange juice (and 1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum)

– Simmer, stirring often, until the fruit is tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from teh heat. Remove the squash from the oven. Pour off the water from the pan and turn the squash cut side up. Fill with the apple mixture. bake until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes more.

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