16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, November 16, 1911: Nothing important.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today I’m going to go off on a tangent –
My husband and I recently were out in the country and saw a farmer selling pumpkins, squash and other produce from a far. There were two large hubbard squash on the wagon. I immediately knew that I had to have one of them.
The farmer was surprised when I purchased it. He said that few people bought hubbard squash anymore. He said that the previous year he’d sold none—and my purchase was his first hubbard squash sale this year.
He continued, “Old people buy them once in a while. Young people think they are some type of big gourd.”
(I hope he wasn’t insinuating that I’m old. Middle aged: yes; old: no)
Are hubbard squash really an almost archaic food? . . .a food from Grandma’s day that people seldom eat now?
Here’s my favorite hubbard squash recipe. It’s probably not a hundred-year-old recipe—but it’s a good way to use an old-time squash.
This soup is excellent, and I make it several times every Fall.
Hubbard Squash Soup
3 cups hubbard squash pulp (approx. 1/2 hubbard squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 ham hocks
1 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon thyme
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To get squash pulp, cut hubbard squash in half; remove seeds and membranes. Unless the squash is very small, only 1/2 of squash (or even less) will be needed to get 3 cups of pulp. [An aside: The squash in the photo is very large–and I needed to use less than a quarter of it to get 3 cups]. Put squash on a cookie sheet, cut side up. Bake the squash for 45-60 minutes or until tender. The squash meat will start to become dark. This is okay. Scrape squash out of the shell, and measure 3 cups of squash for use in this recipe.
Put olive oil in large pot. Heat using medium heat and then add celery, onion, and garlic; cook until tender. Add chicken broth, squash, ham hocks, honey, and thyme. Simmer for 45 minutes. Pull the ham hock out and dice any meat. Return meat to soup; cool slightly Puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pan, and add cream and milk. Reheat soup, then serve.
Yield: 9 servings