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Every time someone volunteers to tell me a secret,  swearing me to secrecy, I pause long enough for them to realize their folly, before fessing up to say that I don’t really keep secrets, not even my own. And if it’s so secret, and you can’t keep it in, then why are you telling me? Do you imagine that I’m stronger than you are? My forte is sharing. If you have some news you want to spread, I’m here for you.

Pecan Cranberry Squash is about colour and flavour. Do you think about the colour of your food? The brilliant orange of winter squash contrasts sharply with the deep, deep crimson of cranberries. It is recommended that we eat a rainbow of food colours for good health.

This recipe was inspired by a visit to Jean Talon Market for a winter squash and a ruby red bag full of cranberries. Allrecipes.com led me to a recipe which I modified to produce the following:

Pecan Cranberry Squash

Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

  • 20 oz fresh cranberries (may substitute frozen)
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar crystals (or more, if you like it sweeter – use your preferred sweetener)
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 1 c water

Bring cranberry sauce ingredients to a boil in a medium sized pot, then simmer for about 10 minutes until soft. Cool the sauce in a bowl. So tasty, you can eat it spooned over yogourt.

Pecan Cranberry Squash Ingredients

  • 6 c mashed winter squash
  • 2 T butter, softened
  • 1 t sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg (freshly ground is good)
  • 2 c homemade cranberry sauce (can substitute canned)
  • 1 c pecan halves
  • 1 T coconut sugar crystals (or your preferred sweetener)

Winter squash

Wash the squash then slice it in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and preserving them. Bake cut side down, for 50 minutes until soft in a 400 degree oven. Mash the cooked squash, then mix in 1 tablespoon of the butter, along with the salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

Cover the squash with the cranberry sauce in a casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until beautifully browned and piping hot.

Mix the remaining tablespoon of butter with the tablespoon of sugar and the pecans. Roast the nuts in the oven at 200 degrees, mixing every few minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Then spread the roasted pecans over the top of the cranberry squash. If not using the whole casserole at once, then only sprinkle the pecans on individual portions to keep them crisp.

Note: Bake the preserved seeds, unwashed, in a 200 degree oven, stirring occasionally until dry.  Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy.

There are many historical details concerning the Thanksgiving celebrations in North America. But this recipe tells the appetizing part of the story.

So, if you are like me, promise me you won’t tell anyone about Jittery Cook.

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