We planted butternut squash in our garden this year. I was a little frightened when I saw that it had been taking reproduction cues from bunnies and zucchini. For a while, it looked like we were going to have a 20 year supply of hard winter squash. But then most of them lost the will to live and withered on the vine and we ended up with just enough to satisfy my Autumnal needs . (Is Autumnal even a word? Well, it should be.) It was sort of a relief. What kind of gardener am I? Why is it a relief when my crops fail? It's because sometimes I wish that my garden would produce like a grocery list- a pound of green beans one week, a bunch of broccoli the next, a few ears of corn and a ripe tomato every couple of days. A generous bounty means labor, toil, and elbow grease right the minute the vegetables say they are ready-despite the fact that you have papers to grade, classes to teach, meetings to attend, etc. I'm not complaining, I'm just, well...complaining. Enough of that! At least my butternut squash came out just right. I've got enough for one per week, and it's going to keep just fine without any attention. I love the golden, buttery stuff. I've been tossing in a little here and there to add a flavor of Fall-is-Coming. It is coming, you know. And that means it's time for chili and cornbread and all of it's variations, like good old fashioned Tamale Pie. Here's my latest version with a little bit of that buttenut squash tossed in. I brought it over to my parent's house for a family dinner, and they've been raving about it all week. My mom even made a tamale pie to take over to the neighbors the next day. And don't worry if you didn't grow your own butternut squash. Head over to the grocery store; they've got plenty. Notes: You can leave out the meat for a cheaper, vegetarian version. If you want to double the batch, you can bake extra miniature pies in ramekins. If you're pressed for time, you can use a cornbread mix and a pepped up can of chilli. I won't judge.
Fall is Coming Tamale Pie