My mom has always had a garden. When we were growing up we feasted on strawberries, fresh beans, tomatoes, and squash. Zucchini, a summer squash, was best served thinly sliced, slightly breaded with flour and some parmessan cheese and then fried to a crispy brown. Winter squash, though, was a staple of the fall. Boiled, mashed and seasoned with a bit of brown sugar and butter, it was a tasty dinner vegetable, but we also substituted it for any recipe that called for pumpkin.

Thanks to my middle sister and my mom, a few butternut squash came my way recently. Last night we roasted some for dinner, peeled, chunked, tossed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and some raw sugar, baked at 400 for a little over an hour (til golden brown). Even my husband, not a big squash fan, had to agree it tasted awesome.

The rest has been cooked and turned into puree. I'll use it for some favorite recipes, including pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Middle daughter, Kara, discovered these while at college and they've been a big hit ever since. Here's her recipe:

1 c sugar
1 c canned pumpkin (or pureed squash)
1/2 c butter
1 T orange peel
1 c unbleached white flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c quick oats (or oat flour)
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Mix sugar, pumpkin, shortening and orange peel. Stir in flours, b. powder, b. soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add chocolate chips.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until lightly brown, 8-10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.

Butternut squash also works well with risotto and soups. There are lots of good recipes out there, just a google away...