28 January 2009

Butternut

Butternut, cucurbita moschata, is winter squash. "Winter" means it's in season in fall and winter and it has a tough exterior. It's a gourd, native to the Americas, and folks have been eating it awhile, some say since 5,500BC. I don't understand this guesstimate.

I don't care for squash so I rarely choose to it eat. My mother grew up on a farm. She liked summer and winter squashes. I recall being with her on market days. She'd always choose yellow summer sqaush, I don't ever recall her choosing zuchinni, or butternut and acorn squash in the colder months. She prepared them often and they were staples on our dinner table. She didn't make me eat the winter squashes despite slathering them with butter and brown sugar in the baking. It would tempt me. They'd melt and meld in the baking. The stringyness and mashy yellow flesh seperating a bit from the shell repelled me.

I like the butternut shape. I like the name butternut. The word sounds appealing, an immediate imaginary shape and texture contrast arises. The fleshy color, swollen shapes in one form, the delicate shade of yellowish-green in the crevices leading into the stem at its tip suggesting a summer vitality in the waning colder season.

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