Squish Squash

This fall I'm collecting gourds. Isn't that a silly thing to collect? It feels very frivolous, but I can't seem to resist them. It all started when I went to the farmer's market last Saturday. I never, ever go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings, but the dogs had woken me up early and I couldn't go back to sleep so I decided to go check it out. I was wandering through, soaking it up (and people who have told me that the Saturday market is way more exciting than the Tuesday and Thursday afternoon market were 100% correct) when I saw a big basket of gourds, 10 for $2.

"Well, that's a really good deal," I reasoned to myself.

And then I passed a sackful at the grocery store the other day that were all knarled and other-worldly looking. And then two smallish little pumpkins that were just the right size to have around as Halloween decorations. And the butternut squash that was such a pretty, buttery color...(sigh).

So, now we have two fun Cucurbitaceae (the family that squash, pumpkins, and gourds belong to) tablescapes, and a few just sprinkled around for good measure.

Thankfully though, just after my little obsession started, the October issue of Martha Stewart came out with some very tasty recipes for all manner of squash (this is why I *heart* Martha).

Having grown up in a family that does NOT eat "controversial vegetables" (to borrow a phrase from a friend) I was a little bit skeptical, but I was plesantly surprised.

First, we tried the Butternut Squash Risotto which was a beautiful orangey color, and so tasty that we fought over the leftovers the next day.

Next, I made the Spicy Squash Pasta on a night that sweet husband had to work late (wiser the second time). The roasting pumpkin smelled all toasty and nutty, and the ricotta chesse made it so nice and creamy on my pasta. I'm warming up the leftovers for lunch as I type this and it's making my mouth water.

And there are several savory pies that I think we may have to test out soon as well...maybe I need to go buy some more squash.