Stuffed Acorn Squash

September 21, 2021


Why is “squash” the word for what we do when we sit on something soft, like a sandwich, but also the word for that one sport that’s not quite tennis but also not pickleball, and also for the food that is basically 17th century survivalist rations.

“I say Carl, winter might be six months long and we haven’t invented Raspberries in January yet.”

“Indeed, we haven’t even invented peanut butter, electricity, or Not Being Racist Assholes, so we sure as shit don’t know how to keep things fresh if they can’t be buried in the snow or underground.”

“Carl, old chap, what’s your plan for avoiding scurvy and constipation until green things start growing agian?”

“Right well I have this gourd that conveniently will have just as little flavor in March as it’s got right now. I intend to cellar about twenty of them overwinter and eat them once a week so I can poop the next day. Otherhaps I’ll dine on venison jerky and whatever birds I can shoot with my bow and arrow, or maybe my dogs will catch a rabbit for me. Also I don’t believe in bathing.”

Back to the present, tonight you’ve made this perfectly serviceable black bean burger but it’s “stuffed squash” which really just means you’ll feel guilty about not wanting to eat the squash despite the filling being delicious.

To Prepare

Cornmeal, flour, eggs, black beans, red pepper, celery, fried onion, garlic powder, soy sauce, hot sauce (valentina / cholula / tapatio), msg, olive oil, mushrooms, thyme, penzey’s “frozen pizza seasoning”

You think back to reading part of “salt, fat, heat, and acid” so you’re inspired to pre-boil the squash in brine for 6 minutes - that’ll totally infuse the squash with savor and keep it from being just a dry crumbly wall of bland starch, right? Turns out that’s actually just the usual disappointment of eating squash but with more steps.

Combine all the ingredients that aren’t squash and then squash them into the cavity of the squash.

After an hour in the oven the little yams are delicious - carmelized at the edges, crisp at the skin, and soft, gooey, and rich in the middle. And the filling is clearly done, getting close to burnt at the top. And the squash is entirely edible, in the sense that it seems unlikely to be any kind of poison or toxin.

When you buy squash voluntarily it’s butternet or spaghetti: both squashes named after actual tasty food. Consider in contrast the acorn squash, named after something else that’s technically edible but which hasn’t been a staple for any societies on this continent since the invention of Manifest Destiny.


…. the stuffing is delicious. there’s just too much squash.


Turns out tupperware is a scam because containers grow on trees (or vines, at least):

“We suggest that the bottle gourd and the dog, two ‘‘utility’’ species, were domesticated long before any food crops or livestock species[…]”

An Asian origin for a 10,000-year-old domesticated plant in the Americas

but not only is the bottle gourd a squash, but also it appears in the new world alongside actual eatin squash:

“Interestingly, in both eastern North America and Mexico, this Old World plant was recovered in close association with the earliest occurrence of the first New World domesticate documented to date for those regions, Cucurbita pepo squash.”

So I’m starting to think of squash as like, your first crush in middle school, if they never got to grow up and turn into beautiful, fun, and mature things like the modern watermelon, loofah, or pickling cucumber.

This is at the bottom of every post

Hi mom!