I was going to do a post about spaghetti squash. Not because I like to pretend it's pasta, as some crazy people do (it's too sweet for that), but because it makes a great fridge staple for a vegetarian (or semi vegetarian like me). I roast it up, perhaps give it a quick saute with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, dole it into plastic storage containers, and eat it for lunch all week. It's delicious, it can be reheated in about a minute in the microwave, and makes a great side dish either just as described, or tarted up with some cheese (parmesan, pecorino, goat cheese or feta have done nicely, on the internets I hear ricotta is great too). As a main, I add steamed, roasted or sauteed veggies, red pepper flakes and possibly a protein on top, like garlicky shrimp or cubes of cooked fish.
I was going to roast and saute a squash today, and photograph it all, and then eat some for dinner and photograph that too. Except when I cut open my squash, it was too easy. See, breaking down a spaghetti squash is generally a pretty dangerous proposition for me, even with sharp chef's knife. Then came the smell. I wasn't sure it was coming from the squash. Sorority kitchen and all, you can never tell.
I was really looking forward to that squash. But then I saw this*:
This squash is rotten. It's rotten enough to tempt me to use an emoticon to describe it. Except for Jack-o-Lanterns folding in on themselves at the end of November, I don't even think I've seen a rotten squash before, but I can still tell. Spaghetti squash should not look like this when you crack it open. If it does, trash it. Don't feel too bad about it, spaghetti squash, especially during this time of year, is a pretty good buy.
From my very limited understanding squash, even beautiful delicious noodly spaghetti squash, lasts a good long while (up to a month). Since I've only had this one waiting around for a week or two, I'm going to blame the store where I bought it. It must have been sitting around there for a while. And if it's not their fault, I am going to blame them anyway. Why? Because, as I said before, I was looking forward to that spaghetti squash.
*You can go ahead and blame some of the grayness on the lighting in my kitchen, but that thing was pretty grisly inside either way. And don't forget the smell. It was definitely the cut squash.