The kids and I went to the local downtown market this morning, and I picked up all kinds of goodness. Some delicious bread, a lovely hand-dyed silk pillow for Big Girl's room (from Julie Belle Designs), a jar of fresh honey, a bar of handmade baby soap (fragrance free for my sensitive skin), and some lovely crook-neck yellow squash. I was tempted by some of the lovely handmade clothing from seworiginal, made by a local woman who also sells on etsy, but I decided I had done enough damage. Big Girl has enough pretty pillowcase dresses to take her through the end of the warm season, and by next spring she may be taller.
I really love yellow squash. Growing up, I typically encountered it in my aunt's traditional squash casserole, which is delicious, but I rarely make it that way myself. I often cut it in thin slices, coat it in olive oil and some spices, and roast it in the oven, or steam-cook it with butter and spices in foil packets on the grill. I love both of those versions, but they don't always get the kid seal of approval, so when I want to get more into the kids' tummies, I bake it as follows:
Wash squash well and slice in half lengthwise. Place in glass casserole dish, cut side up, and sprinkle with desired spices (I usually use some salt, pepper, and oregano, but sometimes I mix it up). Top with breadcrumbs, a pat of butter (optional), and shredded or thinly sliced cheese (generally cheddar since it's a kid favorite). Bake at 325 degrees for about half an hour - the time really depends on how large the squash are. This is a very easy and quick way to prepare baked squash, and the bread crumbs and cheese make it very popular with the kids. It's got the nice browned top that I love from my aunt's traditional squash casserole, but it's a bit healthier, too.
Someday I'll grow my own squash, and then I'll can or freeze some of it so we can enjoy it through the winter. Until then, I'll eat as much as I can while it's fresh in season, and look forward to its return all winter long.