Put it in the books

Something got invented this morning.

Errrr, Jeeves has informed me that I am not as much of a squash pancake pioneer as I thought. All the same, between having my record collection and an open kitchen, this morning couldn’t have gone much better.

Last night’s failed attempt to recreate a weird squash/sage/bacon cream sauced pasta left me with a couple strips of bacon and a half of an acorn squash. I was already planning on making biscuits but the main dish was still up for discussion. I am trying to steer clear of potatoes (check out the tag cloud!!!) but I still wanted something, well, latke-y. I went with shredded squash with little bits of bacon cooked into it.

Fresh and healthy? Check.
Bacon grease? Check.

Growing up I was really adverse to squash. My mom insisted that summer squash be served raw or steamed and as a big texture eater I just could not get down with that raw veggie crispness. In hindsight I was a whiner, the youngest of three that didn’t have to eat anything he didn’t want to but I dread to think how much delicious, backyard grown squash I missed out on a count of me being a weiner. Acorn squash is completely different flavor wise, even texturally. Its essentially a pumpkin but with a sweetness all its own. The rind is really tough to peel completely because of the ridges. I peel with the curve and take a little extra and that usually does the trick. If you don’t get it all, no biggie, you’re shredding it then frying it with bacon- no one will notice.

To you I present, Squashkes with homemade buttermilk biscuits.

For the Squashkes
1 peeled (see above) and shredded acorn squash, yields about 3 cups.
1 medium egg, beaten
3 strips bacon
Salt and pepper

2 cups self rising flour (gross I know but its all I had around)
3/4 stick of butter cubed
5/4 cup buttermilk

Start with the biscuits. Preheat your oven to 425 or so. Add the butter to the flour and mix with your hands kind of like you’re doing a sock puppet, just with the fingertips. You don’t need the butter to be evenly distributed since you’ll be kneading it but you do want a somewhat even consistency. Flour a large cold (nonporous!) surface and place your flour butter combo on there and make a well in the middle, putting half the buttermilk in it. Mix the buttermilk in there and evenly distribute. Drill another well and put the rest of the buttermilk in, now we’re ready to knead.

If you know how to knead, skip ahead. If not, look on youtube or something because it would be mighty presumptuous of me to assume I could teach you better than anyone else on these here internets.

Roll it out to about half an inch thick, basically it should be about as tall as your finger is wide. Unless you’ve got weird hands, in which case use a ruler. You can use a circle cutter for uniformity or just use a knife and make cute shapes like I did. Reknead your excess to get more cuttable space, but you knew that.

Butter a baking sheet, throw them on and throw them in. I won’t give a minute number, but itll take a bit.

Working quickly, get your bacon cooked and crispy. I get it crispy by pouring off fat regularly while its cooking. You do want to retain some of the fat though, for frying purposes. When your bacon is cooked, chop it up, mix it with the squash, egg, salt and pepper. Split into two batches and put the first one right in that bacon pan. It will cook very fast, about a minute. Use the feel test on this, if you shake the pan and its all together, then its probably ready to flip.

Check the biscuits. Are they golden and kinda crispy looking? Awesome! Are they black and caked with blood? You’re not eating biscuits this morning and your oven is possessed!

I sprinkled green onions on top, beset with biscuits on all sides. I paired this meal with a few Law’s and Order. A vintage Orbach from 1998 to start things off and then a Fred Thompson humdinger while I procrastinated doing dishes.

I like being home.


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