Monday, July 15, 2013

Southern Summer Fare - Stewed Squash



I grew up in central Florida.  My parents moved my brother and I to Missouri in about 1979. Oh how I miss it!  In fact, lately I miss it so much that each night when I go to bed I can picture waking there and what my day would be like.  I can almost feel the warm breeze on my face and the sand beneath my bare feet.  I thought surely by this age in my life, I would be able to be there more often than I am.  But, life happens and air fare is terribly expensive lately so I wait...and I wait.. on the day that I can return and feel the lush grass in my Aunt Donna's yard, see the moss swaying in the trees, smell the sweet orange blossoms, and eat some of that wonderful, fresh food that I grew up with.  But, until I can do those things, I can cook the tastes of Florida that take me back...

I grew up eating lots of fresh vegetables, like conch peas, yellow squash, sweet corn, and I think we had sliced tomatoes with just about every meal.  I can't get conch peas here in Missouri unless we grow some and the seeds have to be shipped in.  It's not quite time yet for sweet corn here and my tomatoes are still green on the vine. Folks around here grow more zucchini  than yellow squash but as you know from reading my recent gardening posts, I have lots of yellow summer squash growing around in my garden and yard.  My mom and my sister-in-law also plant summer squash so we end up eating lots of it throughout the summer.  My mom already has a bunch!

The two ways we eat it are stewed and fried.  Today I am posting my method for making Stewed Squash.  I can't really call it a recipe, but I can tell you how I do it.  The squash turns out sweet and peppery.  I just love it!

Here's how I make Stewed Squash AT HOME MY WAY:


Stewed Squash (Yellow Summer Squash)

  • 2-3 yellow squash (crookneck or straight) (do not peel)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced & chopped in thin slices
  • water
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon bacon grease (or butter/margarine if you don't have any)

Instructions:

Wash the squash.  Do not peel or worry about the seeds.  Slice in thin slices the bulb and small section of the neck of the squash.  Once it gets too dense in the neck, throw that section away.

Place the bacon grease/margarine/butter in a skillet or small pot (that has a lid),  and cook until melted. Add the squash & onion, stir through.  Add a little water (like 1/4 to 1/2 cup), just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet.  Salt & pepper.

Bring to a simmer, add a lid and cook, stirring occasionally.

I made a small batch of squash for supper.  Here is what mine looked like when I got started.



Cook, simmering along for 10 minutes or so.  The squash and onion will start to break down.  Keep cooking with the lid until the squash gets completely soft.


Once the squash is soft, remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, and breaking the squash into smaller pieces with your spoon, until the water cooks mostly all out.  The squash will turn to mush and become shiny as the water cooks out. 

My granny used to cook hers until it started to brown on the bottom.  That's when she knew it was done. 

At this point it doesn't look very pretty but tastes WONDERFUL.  It will be sweet and ... well... squashy!  YUM!

You should be cooking this dish 20-30 minutes at least.  It will be worth the wait, I promise!


Enjoy!
 
Gina

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