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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Melon Vine Farm Maple Squash

The dinner hour always seems to be crazy at my house. Young One is hungry and needy and wants to talk. Usually, there are cartoons or the radio blaring in the background (I really need to work on more silence in this house). The phone most definitely rings, a friend of Young One, equally needy and hungry will call to chat. D usually calls on the way home. We have the best conversations during this crazy hour, so I hate to discourage him from calling, although I have been known to yell something about roasting or sauteing or battering and drop the phone.

For me, it's not the main dish that gives me fits, but the side dishes. Sometimes they're harder to come up with! And I refuse to use convenience foods--they're expensive and not healthy. I'm trying to plan sides ahead of time just as much as I menu plan main dishes. Otherwise, we end up with endless rounds of rice, potatoes, beans, and corn.

I'm also trying to do a lot of the meal prep ahead of time. The crock pot is my best friend some days. Today, I've got Melon Vine Farm Maple Squash simmering away. I don't often think of using my crock pot for side dishes, but it suddently occured to me that I could pop some squash in and forget about it.

I'll now have more time to juggle the kid, the phone, and the rest of dinner.

This squash is from my favorite organic farm. I don't often get produce from them as they are about an hour away from my home. Melon Vine Farm is in Pine City, my hometown. We enjoyed their produce every year as my dad was the farm's legal representative. Lee and his wife are a delight. They exude that warmth and happiness that only people who play in the dirt for a living can. Everything they grow is delicious and healthy. They were organic farmers long before it became popular, so I admire them for breaking new ground (literally). They don't have a website that I'm aware of-- I think they're too busy farming and don't need the extra advertising. They have no trouble selling their produce to neighbors and area businesses.

Melon Vine Farm Maple Squash

Serves 4 at 2 WW Point per serving.

1 large acorn squash, or any kind of squash
1/2 cup water
sea salt and pepper to taste
Butter Buds
2 TB Maple Syrup

Spray your crock pot with nonstick cooking spray. Wash squash and cut in half. Seed. Cut seeded squash pieces into large chunks. Place squash in crock pot and pour water over it. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and Butter Buds (generously sprinkle). Drizzle with maple syrup. Cover and cook on high for one hour, lower heat to low and cook for 5 to 6 hours.

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