Mother Hubbard

5 01 2009

It’s January and I am in HIBERNATION mode. This happens to me every January but this year it has hit me times TEN. Apparently that is what housing another being inside yours does to a person. (That and an almost obsessive urge to organize, clean, organize, clean, etc. But I digress…)

Hibernating for me means comfort food. Warm, solid, substantial comfort food. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling a little tired in the kitchen lately. But I’ve discovered that not all comfort foods are labourious – like this winter squash recipe which I plan to make again and again.

Mashed Winter Squash with Roasted Garlic

  • 1 Winter Squash – like the beautiful Golden Hubbard above
  • 1 Whole Garlic Bulb – with outer layers peeled but skins left intact
  • Butter
  • Cream or whole milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Slice the tip of the garlic bulb, so that each clove has a tiny opening at the top. Place the bulb and the winter squash on a pan. Bake at 375F until the squash can be pierced easily. Don’t worry about the garlic. By the time the squash is ready, it will be too. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and peel.

Mash or purée the squash pulp. Add a little bit of butter (1-2 Tbsp, depending on size of the squash), a dollop of cream or milk and then squeeze the roasted garlic paste into the pulp. Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste and voilà – a dish that makes hibernation feel easy and delicious!

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winter green

8 01 2008
Last summer, I was almost manic at times, trying to store enough food to last us for a good portion of the winter. Now, in the January doldrums, I’m surprised to discover that our local food consumption hasn’t decreased as much as I thought it would. Part of this is due to research – as the months go by I have found new producers in our area. One such find includes two gentlemen who have rescued us from the produce aisle of our big-box grocery store in these winter months.

Last year – in our very first departure from big box food shopping – we joined what is known as a CSA. In the early spring, we paid a membership fee to a local farming couple. Then, as the harvests started to arrive in late spring, we received a weekly box of produce that they had grown. The produce tasted divine, and the concept changed the way we prepared food. Instead of “what do I want for dinner tonight,” the question became, “what do I have in my fridge to prepare dinner with tonight?” My fridge and I both felt more in tune with nature. And we both mourned when the harvest came to an end in late September.

So I had thought our local food would dry up during the winter months. But a season of trolling the local food sites led me to two local producers with a greenhouse and what must be one heck of a cold-storage facility – and who continue to deliver during the winter months. Their operation is not technically a CSA, in part because we don’t pay a membership fee, but that’s not my concern. My concern lies in reducing my footprint, and these two gentlemen allow me to do that. For this, I say thank you to Terry and Stuart.





can’t beet this!

7 01 2008

Yum! I had forgotten about the pickled beets I made last summer. It was one of those days in the kitchen where I had lots of different pots bubbling away on the stove top. I remember wondering what our winter diet would be like – this being the first winter where we’ve made local eating a priority. I felt like a squirrel at times, burying local food in our freezer, hiding my canned goods away in our cupboard. Now, whenever I go looking in our stored supplies, I’m always surprised with a treat I had forgotten about.