The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Grandma's goodness...

What's for dinner?

Some of my favorite childhood memories are linked to my maternal grandmother and her big kitchen. Dear, as my cousins and I call her, did lots of little things that meant the world to me back then and still do today. Like the time when she baked sweet potato pies for church, only to find (right as she was about to pack them up to leave) that the crusts on each one had been systematically pinched off. I didn't even get in trouble. She just laughed her throaty laugh, kissed my crumb-covered face, playfully swatted me on my rear and said, "Well, I guess I know the pies taste good!" But my favorite memories from her kitchen are the times when she would bake cobblers, fruit pies or tarts and use the leftover dough, filling and a miniature tin (the tins were small, but not this small) to make an individual version of the same thing just for me. I don't think a child can feel more special than I did back then with my "Nicci pie" and tiny fork in tow.

My grandmother instilled within me a love for family and food and the many ways the two go hand in hand. I feel very lucky that she passed the good-cook gene on to me and even more fortunate that I can still call her and thank her for it. In fact I think I'll do that right now.

And tonight I'll make this, one of the many deliciously simple recipes (and lessons in love) she's given me over the years.

Dear's Baked Butternut Squash
1 medium butternut squash
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter

salt taste

Preheat oven to 350.
Cut the squash in half and remove seeds.
Place squash on baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn over and put half of the sugar and half the butter in each squash, bake for 30 more minutes. Add salt to taste to balance the sugar.


at 12:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you like butternut squash you should try serving it whipped - like mashed sweet potatoes. We bought a huge butternut squash this weekend and it was great. We cooked it the way you note but then beat it with a mixer adding cream, brown sugar and butter. You are right on the money when you say how easy it is to prepare.

at 12:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh! That sounds divine!

Divine? What the...? My apologies for getting all "Blanche from the Golden Girls" on ya... Good food does that to me.

Thanks for the tip, nkygal!

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