Winter Squash

General information:

Winter squash have hard, thick skins. Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place for up to one month. Because this rind makes most squash difficult to peel, it's easier to cook the unpeeled squash, and then scoop out the cooked flesh. To cook them, first remove fibers and seeds; then bake, steam, or boil the squash. When water is used in cooking, the quantity of water should be kept small to avoid losing flavor and nutrients. Acorn and butternut squash are frequently cut in half, baked, and served in the shell. Dress any cooked winter squash with butter and herbs, a cream sauce, cheese sauce, maple syrup and nuts, marinara sauce or stewed fruit. Squash pulp is also used for pies and may be prepared in casseroles, souffles, pancakes, and custards.