Saturday, January 30, 2010

A new squash , baking and looking for ideas

Busy day around here ! Weekends are always busy for us , as it is time to run errands and so forth. Grocery shopping day , and i am going to try a brand new to me squash this week- a kabocha. According to one site :

"Kabocha squash have a remarkably sweet and tender flesh with a slightly nutty flavor. The peel is really more of a rind and is difficult to cut. The dense, smooth, sweet flesh is so tasty it needs very little fuss in preparation. Roasting it or slicing and baking it with a bit of butter or oil and salt are all this delicious squash needs. The dense flesh also holds its shaped with cooked, even in liquids, which makes it perfect for using as chunks in soups or steamed dishes. It pairs well with ginger and sesame as well.

Kabocha squash are large, round, and squat. They are dark green and mottled, often with bumpy skin and make lovely table decoration until they're cooked."

I am thinking that it has to be very similar to a butternut squash in preparation, and must taste very similar. I have only recently heard about this variety and it is the first time I have seen it in our market, so it will be a bit of an adventure.

Saturdays are n0rmally our treat day, and this weeks treat is also a bit of an adventure. It is cold out ( has not even reached 30 degrees the last few days) so something that requires the running of the oven is much appreciated. I am trying something called 1 Point Cake. ( 1 point refers to the point count for Weight Watchers- or something that is less than 50 calories and low fat to the rest of the world). To make it you take a boxed cake mix ( I happened to have a Reduced sugar yellow cake mix) and pour in one can of diet soda. Mix, and bake according to the package directions. I am baking this as cup cakes and topping with a squirt of whipped cream. It makes 21 cup cakes and this way several can be frozen and enjoyed at another time. It's a quick to make treat that fits in with the rhythm of this day.

Scale wise this week is a maintain all around. There are weeks like this - the body moves at it's own pace for many reasons.

I am feeling very edgy today ! It is days away from one of the ancient earth honoring festivals ( called Imbolic, meaning the milk of the lambs), and it is due to all this earth energy rising up. While it may look like winter outside due to a cover of snow and ice, the trees are beginning to experience a rising of sap and in different sun warmed locations a contrary crocus or Jack by the Hedge is appearing through the snow. If you look closely at the tree branches , you will see slightly swelling buds, and you will notice the days are definitely longer. All of these are signs of spring, and the coming of the growing year. It is a time of restless energy and cabin fever. Did you know that the word February is based on a latin word meaning fever ? It's true. It's a restless, stirring fevered time for all of nature in the northern hemesphere.

Next week is Superbowl Sunday, then Valentines day and 3 days later it is Ash Wednesday - the begining of Lent. I am not Catholic , but my husband is, and I am trying to create a meaningful table display to stay up during the 40 days of Lent. During Advent we had a display of advent candles ( three purple and one rose) , as well as a small collection of Gift Giver figures. It made for a very nice thing to focus and center yourself with every day , and I think it would be nice to do something similar for this time. Advent is fairly easy to base themes on, but Lent is very tricky. It is a time of purification or examination where one tries to focus on the big event that is to come- the ulimate gift if you will. My thoughts seem to run to desert type themes, but it feels like that needs a bit more emphasis. Do any of you do anything similar in your homes ? Do you know of any webpages where these sorts of ideas are displayed ?

1 comment:

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

I've had that cake before and it was really a nice little treat. It's much better than the Cake in a Mug that was going around at one point. That was not WW or healthy at all!

We don't do a display for Easter, but do decorate with the usual eggs, crosses, and bunnies when it gets closer.

I was glad to be reminded that spring really is coming. And you are right - I noticed the other morning that our Bradford Pears are beginning to show signs of a bud. YAY!