Don’t give up on that acorn squash just yet…

I just had acorn squash for the 1st time last week and to say that I didn’t care for it would be very polite.

It was bitter, and stringy and not good at all.  I followed a recipe I found in a book that had me cut it in half, scoop out the middle, and roast it in the oven for about an hour face up with a little butter & brown sugar in its cavity.  The only edible part of it was the melty, brown sugary center.  All set with acorn squash… thank you very much.

Wait!  Not so fast!  Don’t put the kibosh on it just yet, you say?  I may not have cooked it right?  Or didn’t use the right recipe?

Try foods again.  And again.  And again.  And then give them one more shot.  Even if you didn’t like them the 1st go-round.

Why?  Because your tastes change as you grow and you may like it now.  Because perhaps it was the way it was originally cooked, prepped, the cut of it, the freshness of it (or lack thereof),  etc. that you didn’t like.

Perfect example…I hated pork growing up.  Despised it, thought it was gross, never ate it.  Then I met my husband-to-be and was invited to his parents’ house for dinner one night.  And, you guessed it, his Mom made pork.  Big, meaty pork chops.  And 2 of them landed on my plate. And I ate them. And tried not to gag. (Not the fault of her cooking, I’d like to quickly add in case she’s reading, but because I hated pork!) And since I ate them, this was taken as a sign that I enjoyed them and from then on my husband would get a phone call every time his Mom was making pork chops for us to come over for dinner. And a lot of times we couldn’t get out of it.  And this went on for about 6 years…till we finally kind of let it leak that pork wasn’t really my favorite dish.  This is still a running joke in the family…thank goodness they have such a great sense of humor…phew!

Yet, years later I was out to dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants and ordered carnitas, thinking it was beef.  They were UNBELIEVABLE and only after I was halfway through them did I find out they were actually pork!  Now I cannot order anything but pork carnitas when I go to a Mexican restaurant.  And since it’s so similar, I’ve also had pulled pork and really liked that too.

Since cooking the acorn squash, I’ve spoken with a couple of my foodie friends about my unpleasant experience.  They have all scoffed at me, saying that I have done a grave injustice to the acorn squash by pronouncing it inedible, when in all reality it was my cooking that rendered it so.  Apparently, acorn squash is not supposed to be stringy and should have been in a water bath when baked.  My fault.  Therefore, I accept the challenge to try it again, whether it be at a restaurant, my Mother-in-Law’s house or out of my own kitchen!

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