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Squashed Potatoes | My First Foods | Week 25

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Squashed Potatoes | My First Foods | Week 25

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Once the potatoes are fork tender, drain then place into a large stand mixer bowl.When I was a kid, I was a picky eater. My mom still can't believe that I grew up to actually enjoy cooking (and trying) all sorts of foods. Considering that my diet as a child consisted mostly of pasta and bread, I'm surprised I didn't grow up to weigh 500 lbs. This week's challenge was to recreate or retry one of my first foods, so I asked my mom for some suggestions (and some pics!) of the foods I ate as a wee baby.

According to her, I had to spread my food all over my face and head before I could eat it. Even then, I knew food was something that was meant to be enjoyed with all the senses!




Luckily, my mom also documented my life through some scrapbooks, and has the moment I tried my first 'solid' food. Unfortunately I can't see exactly what that food might have been, but my mom said that I loved butternut squash. Which is weird, since I don't really tend to enjoy squash as much as an adult. For this recipe, I've decided to combine something that I disliked in my childhood, with something I now enjoy as an adult, and something I dislike as an adult, with something I enjoyed in my childhood.


But I guess that just goes to show as we age, our tastes do change! I prefer to live under my flavor mantra: There are no flavors we are meant to dislike, only tastes we have not acquired yet.


When I was a baby, I also hated mashed potatoes, and it took me until probably college to start eating mashed potatoes for enjoyment. Good thing I did, because now I LOVE them. So I decided to combine the two into one big mashed pile of deliciousness called "Squashed Potatoes." This quote from Bilbo Baggin's sums up how I feel about the most of the ingredients used: "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."





The hardest part about making squash is cutting and cleaning it. There are many different ways to skin squash, from slicing, peeling, steaming, or baking. Pick your poison, but I skinned mine carefully with a large knife since my peeler wasn't strong enough to handle the hard skin.


Wash and chop the potatoes and toss into a large pot with the cubed butternut squash. I chose not to peel my potatoes for the sake of time and to add a little texture, but if you prefer your mashed potatoes skinless, feel free to peel yours too! Next cover with about an inch of water then bring to a rapid boil.






Once the potatoes are fork tender, drain then place into a large stand mixer bowl.


Then just add the butter, cream, and seasonings, and beat on low for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes and squash are at a creamy consistency.


Finally just top with a pinch of nutmeg. The tones of curry alongside the deep chords struck by nutmeg create a symphony of flavor fusion. I guess I might actually like, really like, squash now. I served mine alongside some summer herb pesto porkchops. If you think the below image looks like baby food, I take that as a compliment. It's the most grown up and delicious baby food there is! 

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Squashed Potatoes | My First Foods | Week 25

Ingredients:

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  • 3 lbs butternut squash
  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry
  • 1 teaspoon (plus a pinch for sprinkling) nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Here's How:

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  1. Prepare the squash by cutting off the top and bottom then slicing lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon. Remove the skin with a peeler or sharp knife, then chop into cubes.
  2. Wash and chop the potatoes, skin if desired. Add into a large pot with the squash and cover with an inch of water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, or about 25 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes and squash then place into a stand mixer bowl. Beat on low and slowly add the butter, half and half, garlic powder, curry powder, nutmeg, cumin, and coriander. Pour in the Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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