April 8, 2010

Squash With a Story

We always planted the squash on the first row of the garden. A plant with pretty blooms and leaves was our reasoning for this. The okra would follow in the next rows and then the cucumbers. Okra has a pretty bloom, also. All of these things mean more to me today than at the time. Memories of my family are good most of the time. I am proud of where I came from regardless of how bad it was at times. The people were not all good. The times were not happy alot of the time, but we made the best of them. I am really convienced that the pain has made me the caring person I am today. Hard work gave me character. Character I know in my soul that I have, no matter what I have been told by others. In my heart I know that.

The squash was always the first thing to be ready to pick, cook and eat. To this day squash is one of my favorite foods. It is wonderful with vinegar slaw and cornbread. We always fried it in an iron skillet careful to not use much lard. Yes, we used lard. My grandmother ate it most of her life up until she was in her late eighties, then decided or the doctors did that it was not good for her. She lived to be ninety-two. The squash was covered with meal, no eggs added. Salt and cornmeal that is all. The reasoning once again here was to use no more than we needed of anything. The lard had been made during hog killing time. It was in a large metal container with a lid always beside the stove. It was still good even in the spring. Well, it was good enough to use although it was beginning to have a strange sour taste, like meat smells when it starts to go bad. On into the summer we would have to start getting lard from the little store down the road. We even bought lard. I am not sure if you could even get vegetable oil at this time. Seasoning the way we did then was delicious.

Today, I go the extra mile in frying squash. It is almost like potato chips when I am finished. I add onions, hot pepper and garlic to mine. Time was always an issue as I was growing up, because there was so much to be done. I now have time to let the mixture of cornmeal, eggs, onions, peppers and squash sit as long as possible before frying. This makes all the juice from the squash seep into the meal making it stick while it is frying.

  1. Cut fresh squash into slices
  2. Place in large bowl of salted water (amount of salt just pour into palm of hand and whats there is it)
  3. Let the squash sit in salty water a few minutes, while you are doing something else.
  4. Pour off the water and add egg that has been beat to squash
  5. Pour cornmeal onto the squash with egg on into the bowl
  6. Cut a large onion into slices and break into rings into bowl of squash
  7. Cut three hot peppers into same bowl
  8. With your hands mix and mix
  9. Let this mixture sit for as long as possible (couple hours or more)
Heat deep fryer
  1. Add squash and fry till golden and crispy
  2. Take out and place in pan with lots of paper towels to drain
My version is not all that fancy and surely not that well written, but I hope you get the just of it.

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