Carnival squash, a variety of Acorn squash, is another winter squash that stores well in a cool, dry spot. If you like to keep squash on the kitchen counter for décor, it will dry out faster so it should be used sooner than later. Otherwise winter squash should store well for 3 to 4 months. This acorn-shaped squash has smooth skin splashed with a mix of cream, yellow, orange, and green colors. The pale orange flesh is semi-dry, firm, and very mild in flavor. Cooking will help bring out more flavors and improve the sweetness. To help improve the sweetness, put some butter, freshly chopped rosemary, and maple syrup in each cavity of a cut and cleaned squash before roasting to perfection.
Developed in England, the Bartlett pear was originally known as Williams pear and is still called a Williams pear outside the US and Australia. A gentleman with the last name of Bartlett brought the pair to the US and the rest is history. Bartletts have a sweet and pleasantly musky flavor that makes it an excellent pear for fresh or cooked desserts and it also cans well.
Celery Root Mashers
(serves 4-6) Adapted from Mustards Grill by Cindy Pawlcyn
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 celery root, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2-4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground pepper
Put the potatoes and celery root in a large pot with 1 teaspoon of salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to a strong simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until both vegetables are fork tender but not mushy. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over low heat, add the shallots, and sweat for about 8 minutes, until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Drain the potatoes and celery root, reserving cooking liquid and transfer cooked veggies to a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or use a hand masher for lumpier potatoes. Add the butter and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix on low speed, then increase speed to medium to mix thoroughly. If mix seems dry and stiff, add small amounts of reserved cooking liquid or some milk. Season with the pepper and additional salt if needed. Stir in reserved shallot and serve hot.
Tomato Bacon Butter
Courtesy of For Cod and Country by Barton Seaver
This flavored butter can be made in large batches and stored in the refrigerator for many weeks (let it soften a bit before using it). It goes well with cooked squash, grilled seafood, steak, and autumn soups.
3 tablespoons butter
2 strips bacon, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
Salt and pepper
Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the bacon to a small sauté pan. Cook over medium heat until the bacon fat is mostly rendered and the meat is beginning to crisp. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, until the juices begin to release and the tomatoes break down. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and mash together using a fork. This butter should not melt but rather form a paste with the tomatoes. Season lightly with salt.