Saturday, August 4, 2007

Squash, Mayo and Clooney

My buddy Linda N. and I were talking on the phone this morning, arranging for a quick run to the library.

"Do you like butternut squash?" she asked.

"You bet!"

"Oh good," she said. "I like summer squash but I don't care for winter squash. If you want it, I have this nice butternut you can have."

Well, you don't have to slap me up alongside the head when friends are sharing summertime produce. We all have to do our parts to keep the good stuff from going to waste, don't we? (We won't discuss how many lies we end up telling to get out of taking on outrageous supplies of zucchini but that's the exception.)

Anyhoo, the above photo is what she gave me. Unless it's some kind of hybrid, I don't believe that's a butternut. At least it doesn't have the familiar jug shape, nor is it as thin-skinned or as pale as the usual butternut. It's more the shade of light, unglazed clay pottery -- the color tones on the right side are closest to true. Definitely not the orange of a pumpkin, although it's shaped like a small one. This specimen is about dinner plate-size. It might be a Gold Nugget. It's close to the same color as the Long Island Cheese squash -- except it's not flattened on top like the cheese squash. Hmmm.

Doesn't matter. It's going to be delicious, I know. It's a good thing winter squash keeps well because I haven't decided yet how I'm going to fix it. Lord knows there are a blessed variety of recipes online and I can assure you I'm perusing them with a fine-toothed comb. Or maybe a slotted spoon would be more appropriate.

Linda also gave me a couple of absolutely perfect garden-fresh tomatoes. Ohmygawd. I'd forgotten how utterly sublime a real tomato can taste. I've already had two sandwiches with dill-sprinkled 'mater slices and cheddar cheese. Heaven!

Before I could make the sandwiches, I had to whup up a fresh batch of my magick mayo, which you may recall from this entry. And I did. And it was wunnerful, wunnerful. As I was sitting here munching away on my sandwich and occasionally moaning in ecstasy, I got to wondering about all the possible flavor variations one can do with mayo. Next thing I knew, I was munching and Googling and having a great time.

And that's how I found Chef John at Food Wishes. This is a terrific foodie site wherein the recipes are demonstrated on short videos, hundreds of them. For instance, here's Chef John's version of the immersion/stick blender mayo. His recipe is just a bit different than mine: he uses 2 egg yolks, I used 1 whole egg. He uses a half-cup more oil than I do. From the looks of things, his mayo and mine come out the same. This tells me the method is a forgiving one that allows creative tomfoolery. (Insert wicked chuckle.)

I hope you'll visit Chef John -- and bookmark his site. Speaking for myself, watching a dish being made is immensely more informative than simply reading a recipe and crossing your fingers. Besides, the man is funny and unassuming and gives good vid. And how could you not love a guy whose profile photo is a George Clooney look-alike?


Bex said...

Not so much the color, but the shape reminds me of some form of acorn squash. I love all squashes, and just slicing them in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and adding butter and brown sugar to the centers and baking them has always been my favourite way of serving them. Yum. Now I'm in the mood for an acorn squash!

bb said...

Well you sold me on the Clooney look a like so I'll go ahead and trot over. Has to be better than the way my day started.

Ever had a water globe gush all over your floor? And not a sound. Books on the shelf didn't appreciate it either.

Dee said...

Ah, Bex, that's the way we always fixed acorn squash when I was growing up. That was about the only winter squash available back then. Today we have such a huge variety, it's hard to know where to begin. Not that I'm complaining! I'll happily work my way through all the choices, given a chance.

Bonnie, I hope you enjoy Chef John as much as I do. The water globe mishap sounds horrid. It always seems there is more water than could have been possible when you have to mop it up.

mz. em said...

Michael likes to mix mayo with avocados. Mmmmm, this is real tasty on just about anything.