10 January 2009

Frugal Luxuries #2


Last week I described one of my luxuries as being an herb garden. Planning, drawing, dreaming about the garden and its fruitfulness in the summer brings me deep joy. Thinking of putting lavender in the guest room in the pillows and making a lavender spray for our bedroom linens fills me with anticipation!

This week I want you to focus on the bounty of January. This month you can enjoy oranges, tangerines, tangelos and clementines which are at the peak of their season. Collards, fennel, winter squash and brussel sprouts are also at their cheapest. These might not be something that your family will eat, but part of feeling luxurious is doing something special just for you!

Here is a squash recipe that I really enjoy, but I don't have to eat it alone, as Bob likes it too!

1 large butternut squash (3 1/4 pounds), peeled and seeded (2 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cut off and discard the stem of the squash, then cut the squash into two pieces by cutting through it horizontally at the bottom of the neck. This will make it easier to peel.

Peel the cylindrical neck lengthwise, removing enough skin so that the orange flesh underneath is revealed. (Under the outer skin there is a layer of green, which should be removed.) Peel the round part of the squash by cutting around it in a spiral fashion with a sharp knife; it is easier to peel a round object in this manner.

Cut the rounded part in half lengthwise, and, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Then cut the squash into 1/8-to-1/4-inch slices, either with a knife or in a food processor fitted with the slicing blade.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the squash slices in a large saucepan, cover them with water, and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then drain in a colander. The pieces will break a little in cooking. Arrange pieces in a gratin dish, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Pour on the cream, and stir gently with a fork to distribute the additions properly. Cover with the cheese, and bake for about 30 minutes.

At serving time, brown the top of the gratin by heating it under a hot broiler for 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

This is a rich dish and works well with roasted chicken. I hope you enjoy it!

What dish could you make just for you for a little luxury this week? I hope you plan on a special treat just for you! You can share it if you want to!


  1. ummm, this recipe sounds really good. Will give it a try soon...

  2. Oh how fabulous to be bale to garden year round!

  3. Ohhh, I'm having roast chicken for dinner tomorrow. This recipe sounds great.

    Oh boy! You really got a lot of comments for your bedroom post. Some of them sound like very good ones, too. I must go back and read to the end of the list.

    And, lastly, I received a little pot of lavender for Christmas and have wondered where to grow it...
    Now the bedroom sounds like the perfect place! I love how bloggers spark each other's thinking.

  4. This one sounds good...we usually will eat acorn or butternut squash cooked, peel attached, then spoon over rice a roni, to be honest, this is the only way I like it, hides some of the trust taste of the squash which is sometimes strong to me. We may have to try this one out. Thanks

  5. Hi Terri...recipe sounds great...thanks for sharing it. I just posted an answer in the shutter post for today, to the question you had, a few others I've gotten...so stop by if you have a chance. :-) Susan

  6. Butternut squash is a favorite of mine ... I haven't purchased it in months. So! Now you know what I will be looking for at the supermarket today. I hope the moon was as lovely where you are as it was here early this morning! Talk about a frugal luxury! It's free!

  7. This sounds great. I'll be trying it, and I love that your directions are so detailed. Thank you. laurie

  8. just saw the photo of you westie. My westie is also named Wilson. some people think it's a strang name for a dog, but it suits a westie.
    Nice photos.

  9. great pic!
    will definitely have to add this recipe to the we must try list!

  10. I am loving these posts each week! I have decided this is the year I will be planting my own herbs. I am going to do containers for this year till I get the feel for growing and caring for them. But I am so all about cooking with fresh herbs over dried and it will be so wonderful to just walk in to my yard and snip my own!


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