Our hard work since early last spring has rewarded us with pickups full of pumpkins, bushels of beans, and all manner of baskets and boxes full of potatoes, sweet corn, peas, pears, kale and spinach (never enough spinach!) and more. The very last of the family's harvest action is shown, above. Three-year-old Porter and his mom, Liz, are gathering the kidney beans that have dried on the vine. They'll be shucked and dried a little more, and stored away in the pantry for hearty winter soups to come.
The sweet corn patch...
...has been put to bed for the winter.
Thanks to my husband, Ron, we have a spacious root cellar full of squash and potatoes, and handy access to both. We'll be eating squash and potatoes all through the winter and on into spring--and I just ran across the perfect recipe that combines the nutrient power of vegetables with a YUM power that almost makes squash into a dessert!
Mashed Maple Butternut Squash with Pecans
1 3 pound-ish butternut (or other winter variety) squash
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Split the squash in two down its vertical axis. Place both sides cut-sides-down on a greased baking pan, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for an hour, or until it's soft when poked with a finger. Let cool slightly, then scoop the soft squash out its skin, and place it in a mixing bowl.* Fold in the butter, syrup and chopped pecans. Place in a greased casserole, and sprinkle with the toasted pecans. Slip back in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Serves 8.
*The squash can be baked ahead, if desired, and stored in the refrigerator for up to several days, or frozen, for longer and thawed when needed. Like maybe at your family Halloween party...