I was working on a presentation in my office at 4:45 on a weekday, and I was startled when my arm rang. (I’m still getting used to my new Apple Watch.)
Rose never calls me during work hours unless it’s a food emergency, so I answered, awkwardly holding my wrist up to my face and hoping no colleagues ventured into my office. “Hi Rose, what’s up?”
“Kim, I’m wrestling with a spaghetti squash! How do you get the dang thing open?”
This is serious business. I forgot that I was talking to my wrist and told her the Spaghetti Squash Disaggregation Truth as I know it. (Rose grants me an elevated foodie status, and I try hard to deserve it.)
Get the biggest, sharpest butcher knife you have and stab it hard straight through the heart, like it’s a mortal enemy, then slice downward.
Rose had already done the stabbing.
“My knife is stuck!”
“That happens to me, too. You have two options – get a hammer and use it to tap your knife further into and down the squash beast, or get another knife and go at it from a different part of the squash.”
“Really? This happens to you, too? I thought there was some kind of Chef Squash Magic you could tell me about, some kind of kitchen wizardry…” She tailed off, sounding kind of wistful and disappointed. I hated to let her down.
“No Rose, really, I’ve been in that same situation, alone in the house, just me and the squash and that helpless feeling when it seems like more than you can handle. But I was not going to let it win, Rose. That’s where the ‘thinking it’s the enemy’ part comes in. GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT!” (I had forgotten that I was in an office setting and was talking to my wrist loud enough for co-workers to hear me waaaay down the hall – but, as I said, this was serious business and Rose needed my full support.)
We shared a few niceties, I encouraged her once more (“You’ve GOT this!”) and then hung up – or rather, I pushed a little red button on my watch to end the call and went back to my presentation. I wondered how she’d fare, but knowing Rose, my money was on her. It takes more than a gourd to defeat a grimly determined woman.
The Rest of the Story: a Tale of Triumph Over Gourd-Adversity
A few hours later, I was rewarded with the rest of the story, presented on Facebook by a triumphant Rose.
“Sooo….my first sincere attempt at cooking spaghetti squash. Pinterest failed to mention that these squash do not have a soft melon-like consistency….they are hard boulders that taunt you with their inaccessibility. Thank you, (another friend), for your attempt at helping me, but I ended up swallowing my little pride and calling the Oracle, Kim. She suggested the stab and split downward method. After working out my frustrations on unsuspecting produce, the second picture is the final result. It tasted great, and was made more satisfying with the knowledge that I was consuming an earlier arch nemesis (that dang aforementioned boulder squash). I know this is long, and I don’t normally post food, but I’m celebrating a well earned triumph.”
She did it!
The Wisdom of the Crowd: A New Technique
Rose’s post generated lots of compliments and comments. The banter was wonderful. She added:
“I have to admit, it’s really good. Also, really easy once you break into the agricultural spawn of Satan.”
- “We have it all the time. My chain saw works great for cutting the little Devil.”
- “This happened to me last week! After getting in a full workout cutting it, I read that you can microwave it for 5 min first to make it easier.”
- “Poke holes and microwave for 2 minutes! It softens it significantly for you to cut it.”
- “I see somebody else mentioned it (microwaving)! It really helps. You just can’t touch it for like 20 minutes after LOL!”
- “I’ve found that hatchets are fun! That is of course if you forgo the above mentioned softening techniques.”
Softening in the microwave? Great idea! I had never heard that one and am ready to try it, unless…see Rose’s answer to the suggestion that she try the microwave approach.
“That will depend heavily on how the rest of my day has gone. The technique I employed to get into the squash this time was oddly therapeutic.”
Facebook folks asked for the recipe, which she shared:
Permission to Share
Final note: I sought permission from Rose the Mighty Squash-Quasher to share this event and the Facebook conversation .
You have the intrepid heart of warrior! Kudos for winning the squash war and bringing the gourd to its culinary knees. The recipe looks super-yum. Can I put this escapade in my blog? Oh please?
She said yes.
Copyright 2017 Glover Gardens Cookbook