Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Unexpectedly Delicious

I'm an average cook. When I improvise it's usually regretted. Two nights ago I cooked a butternut squash, split in half, with garlic salt and a little butter, a little maple syrup. It wasn't very good, sort of watery tasting and took almost two hours to cook because of the altitude.

So the other half of the squash was still sitting on the shelf last night, waiting to be tossed or eaten. I scooped the orange flesh out of the shell into a little bowl, added an egg, some cinnamon, a little milk, a little maple syrup. Poured it into a small pan so it could fit in the small oven, and baked it about 45 minutes. No recipe involved and little hope held for outcome.

It was delicious. Somehow it picked up a texture more like bread pudding. I don't know if I could ever recreate it. I didn't get a picture of it because it was all gone.

I got an email from a friend in L.A. who wanted me to participate in her cooking chain letter. You send a recipe to somebody and the adjusted email to 20 other people. I wrote back, "What are you thinking? I only have approx. 3 friends and you're one of them."

Later I realized I could have penalized everyone who's ever posted here, but that's not my style. I never-- never-- participate in chain mail no matter how good the intention or how big the reward promised. Now don't you feel better?

So what's with the picture? That's yet another obsolete format, in this case a stack of CEDs, an early form of home video. They were on the way to the dump. That's Paul Newman on top. Geez he was good looking. Some people collect CEDs and hang them on the wall but there's so little aesthetics involved in the packaging that the dump seemed the best place for them.

Another hiking shot:


stray g said...

Great hiking photo; love the big leaf in front. Maybe I'll try the squash; sounds good. I never do the chain emails or letters, either. There was one I skipped about mailing books to a bunch of people and receiving 36 books.

A Wanderer said...

Oh man! I've never heard of CEDs!
Those are right up my alley. I love collecting obsolete hardware/electronics stuff. I hate seeing stuff like that taken to the dump, it breaks my heart...
I have a lovely '70s black and white TV in my garage that I recently spotted in an old educational short in the Prelinger Archives.
I wouldn't mind being a junk man.

Namowal said...

I've never heard of CEDs either- but I do remember enormous VCRs and 8 track tapes.
I shy away from chain letters and emails myself. The "send x many" ones are seem gimicky, and a lot of the political ones are only partially true.
I'll try to recreate the squash thing you made. It sounds good. Just earlier today I was thinking about cooking some. Usually I split them, microwave them until they're soft, and add butter, Splenda and pumpkin pie spice for flavor.

Sally said...

CEDs were the first optical disc media. They were expensive and few titles, developed by RCA I think. You inserted the whole package in the player, and the players broke down a lot.

A wanderer, I wonder if you'd like museum curating, a really tough field now, especially stuff like video art, where artists built towers of cathode tubes, the art was on tapes, and the tubes etc are hard as heck to find. Also I know a guy whose janitor business included cleaning the Peterson Auto Museum in L.A.

I don't guarantee that recipe-- no idea why it ended up tasting like bread pudding!

Mean Jean said...

Good squash-cooking story.

I once broke my vow re: chain letters. It was a recipe one. I sent mine to 6 people and got zip.

Sally said...

Mean jean, I bet you have some good squash recipes-- your cooking style always looks impressive.