Recipe: Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

While this dish is baking your kitchen will smell heavenly - maple syrup, butter and cinnamon bring out the warm sweetness of everyone's favorite squash. To make prep go faster I prefer to cook it with the peel on and then scoop out the butternut flesh at the very end. However, it will be a prettier result if you take the time to peel and then chop it into cubes prior to baking. This recipe is the simplest version of this dish, but you can play around with fun variations like adding beets or tossing in toasted pecans at the very end.

- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- salt to taste

1) Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice butternut squash lengthwise in half and scoop out seeds and pulp.

2) Melt butter on low heat and whisk together with maple syrup and cinnamon.

3) Place butternut squash in a baking dish or roasting pan and drizzle butter-maple syrup over top. Salt lightly.

4) Add 1/2 cup water to the dish or pan and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake until very tender, about 60 - 75 minutes.

5) Scoop out flesh with a large spoon and serve.

Garden in Transition

Despite the continuing heat wave that is making September feel more like July, the garden has noticed the shorter days and the hot weather crops are slowing down. Fortunately, fall crops are stepping in. While still baby sized and immature, fall veggies are lying in wait for their chance to take over once summer has ceded control of the garden.

Filling buckets with excess tomatoes for canning.

Some summer veggies are on their last legs. Tomato vines are dying back, even as the fruit is still ripening, but we're hoping for another month of tomatoes.

Peppers and eggplants are thriving in this late summer heat, and may stick around until the frost.

Summer squash are nearly done. They continue putting out bright orange blossoms right up until the end.

The last of the zucchini.

Meanwhile, the fall crops are moving in and starting to come up. 

Winter radishes.

Green cabbage.

Red cabbage.

Acorn squash.

Butternut squash, still tiny and attached to its flower.

Delicata squash.

It's hard to imagine when the temperature is hovering around 30 and the humidity is thick in the air, but fall is just around the corner. Are you ready?

Summer's End

After an unusually cool summer it seems we're on the cusp of an early fall. This might mean some of our summer veggies fade out a bit sooner, but fortunately we've still got lots of tasty fall veggies to look forward to.

The tomato leaves start to die back once the days get shorter and the nights get cooler. Production of new tomatoes will typically slow down at this point, but there are still loads of unripe and semi-ripe tomatoes catching whatever rays of sun they can to hopefully take us into October.

The cherry tomatoes are still out in force and looking delicious.

The sweet peppers, like the tomatoes, are slowing down in growth, but there are still lots left to ripen.

Here come the fall veggies! Through the large leaves of this winter squash plant (called Gold Nugget) we spy some flashes of orange.

Can you spot the two growing butternut squashes in this photo? On a cool day like this I'm looking forward to a warm, comforting butternut squash soup.

Are you ready for fall?