...so I'm always telling Himself that cooking is science, and the kitchen is a laboratory: you might have to run several experiments before you get results.
I love butternut squash.
I'd happily use it in everything from soup to side dishes to ersatz lasagna to custard-y pies and all points in between.
But - I hate cutting up butternut squash.
I can't peel the things to save my life. I probably waste more than I use. As for dicing them - hah. My sharpest knives hardly make a dent. I usually have to ask Himself to saw them. (Almost, but not quite, literally.)
What's a flexitarian to do?
Ask Google, of course. And this is the gold the panning produced:
Yes, that's right, nuke it. Maybe you already knew this. I didn't, and I'm always glad to share the knowledge. All you have to do is cut off either end (the only hard part to this little exercise), poke the squash with a fork (just enough to pierce the skin), and microwave it for anywhere from four to six or seven minutes, depending on the size of the squash.
It won't cook through, though it will start it cooking a little. But it will still feel pretty hard, skin and all. Let it cool for a few minutes, and - voila!
By golly, Mrs Wizard has done it again - that baby peeled in just a couple of minutes, and I was using an old semi-dull knife. The website recommends a "Y-peeler" (variously called a harp peeler, a U-peeler). One of these days I might just get one and try that instead. I might even sharpen the knife.
But I digress.
Meanwhile, the butternut squash has been denuded and more-or-less cubed. It is in the oven roasting with its friends carrots, parsnips, and onions, on its way to becoming soup, even as I type.
Microwave + squash = soup. QED.
p.s. And for those luddites among us, if you don't want to microwave it, you can accomplish much the same thing in your oven. Cut the squash in half and lay the pieces cut-side down on a lightly-greased baking sheet. Bake at about 400F (200C) for twenty / thirty minutes. Let cool and proceed as above. I don't do it this way because: 1) it still poses the cutting problem; 2) it takes more time, both in the cooking and the cooling of it; and most of all 3) it takes a lot more energy. The electric company makes enough money off of me.