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October 15, 2008 - Kylie Saari
Item by item I have been pruning back my garden. First while the sun was still hot, out came the greens, then peas, then as the days got shorter corn, and so on
The large, mostly dirt rectangle in my backyard now only has a few tomatoes that should probably have been brought in, a couple sweet banana peppers, broccoli gone to flower and my ever browning vines.
I have been eyeing the squash nestled cozily in the overlong grass outside my garden (my vines seem to be escape artists no matter what I do), I can't help but turn my thoughts to squash stuffing. I grow this squash every year, for no other reason than my squash stuffing, although my recent love affair with squash soup may be horning in, but for now, it is the stuffing.
The stuffing is my signature dish. The one I serve every Thanksgiving, possibly to no one's delight but my own. I serve it only then, so it is special, and it brings me great joy to do it.
It is the dish that made my mil back down, I can still see the look of surprise in her eyes when she forced herself to taste it. She had made her own stuffing that Thanksgiving, even though I told her I would be bringing it. But as the years have passed, the family has come to expect my stuffing on the table.
My mil is an amazing cook. The kind that never substitutes margarine for butter when baking, and only uses full-fat meats for cooking. That first Thanksgiving I had slaved over that stuffing recipe, a brown bread and squash concoction that I think took me a whole day of non-stop cooking to compile that first year, but is the least of my worries now that I have figured out how to quickly peel and dice butternut squash and found the most efficient way to prepare it along with all the other items fight for the oven on that famous Thursday.
That stuffing means more than a side dish to me. It represents all the colors and smells of Thanksgiving and celebration, laced with my small victory with my mil. I make it every year, even though my dh refuses squash and we always have left overs. It is delicious to eat and to revel in. And if you are lucky, I might share the recipe with you on this blog someday... stay tuned.
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