Monday, June 28, 2010

my favorite squash.

Growing up in the country had it's ups and downs. But definitely one of the things I'd consider an "up" was always being exposed to good ol' Southern cookin! My parents always had a garden full of good veggies along with other yummy things like fresh eggs from the chickens we kept. There was usually a mason jar or two full of peach or fig preserves and always a pitcher of fresh sweet tea in the fridge. I have memories of shelling peas on the back porch with my mom, and tip-toeing into the coop every morning to get my breakfast. Now, at the time I may not have thought all this to be as precious as I do as an adult... but I must say that I've become quite proud of this upbringing and love that I have such sweet memories to share with my youngun.

One of my favorite things to see on the dinner plate was my mom's squash. I loved it then, and love it now... and even though it's about as simple as you can get... I've never had better! It's slowly cooked down in it's own juices and then cranked up at the end to dry it out and almost give it a "caramelized" quality. It's hearty, filling, rich, peppery, and NEVER enough! Every time I make it I always wish I'd thought to double the recipe.
Just trust me and make it, y'all!

Mama Faye's Cooked-Down Squash

4-6 Yellow Squash, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 medium white onion, diced
1 Tbsp. Canola Oil (or if you wanna be real Southern; bacon drippings is the alternative.)
1 Tsp. of salt, and a lot of fresh pepper. (and I mean, a lot... at least 2/3 Tsp.)

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, squash, salt and pepper and give it a toss. (As you can see, I really piled it in there. But that's only because it will end up cooking down to less than half that amount. Promise.)

Cover and cook over medium/low for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with the back of your spatula. All of the juices will be released from the squash during this and it should be simmering.

Just keep checking it every 5 minutes or so and breaking up the squash.
After it's simmered down and looks kinda pulverized, uncover, crank up the heat to high and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Making sure to scrape the bottom the bottom of the skillet as I go, getting up any brown bits -aka- the extra yumminess.

And here's what it should look like:

Golden goodness! And though it may not the prettiest dish you've ever seen...
I promise it won't do you wrong.
Straight from my Mama's kitchen to yours!
Hope you enjoy!


Beyond Blessed in GA said...

Thanks for posting, I was just wondering how to get through all the squash I was just given! I'll try it this week!

Your childhood sounds dreamy, something I wish I could offer my children,... maybe someday.

blueeyedfreckle said...

you can't go wrong with good southern cooking. this looks delicious!

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