Squash Death Match

7 Jan

Die squarsh. Die.

Come 6:30, my Brooklyn office starts to smell like hot gym socks stuffed with steamed broccoli. Paradoxically, I then become hungry and tool around online for a new recipe. Today I found one for butternut squash lasagna.

While I have a storied history with both lasagnas and squashes in restaurants, never has either of these illustrious foodstuffs graced my oven. But in the interests of doing things that scare, or at least intimidate, me, I ran down the street to Foragers (a store that sells shit like peanut -free peanut butter and cheese -free cheese and other stuff-free stuff for $25) to pick up ingredients to make myself a butternut squash lasagna. It was there that I met my nemesis.

At first glance, he was nothing special–an institution-beige doorknob of a vegetable. But he was determined not to be ignored. After poking a hole in a perfectly good plastic bag and getting unnecessarily heavy while I waited 40 minutes for the F train, he set about destroying my apartment with a determination usually only seen in my boyfriend (Are you putting your socks on the lamp? Really? The lamp?  Can we talk about why there are sunflower seeds in the bathtub?)

The cereal box in which I live has about 6 inches of counter space, on which I put an onion, a package of spinach and the squash. The squash took up a lot of space, so I had to put the noodles on top of the dish rack, the pasta sauce in the microwave, the parsley and ricotta in the sink, and the eggs in a red bull champagne bucket that has mysteriously appeared on my counter in the last few weeks.

Confused as to how to access the edible part of my nemesis, I cut off the knob at the bottom so that I had a squash rod and a squash ball. I peered into the ball’s  innards and discovered an unusually thick skin. A coworker had warned me about this, but I had failed to heed the warning: I do not own a vegetable peeler.

If this thing was going to get peeled 1700s-style, there needed to be music. I fired up the Rolling Stones and went after it with the sharpest knife I owned. By the time the iPod got to Wild Horses, the damned thing was peeled and cut in half. But you know what?  Squashes have pumpkin shit in them. So I’m scraping seeds and stringy things and god knows what out of this skinless squash and getting it all over my shirt. No one’s here, so I say fuck the shirt and toss it on the couch.

The recipe calls for a cup and a half of onions, which I set about chopping. I’ve just started tearing up when I realize I have nowhere to put them on the now-squash-covered square of counter. I reach up into the cabinet above the stove to get a measuring cup and knock an entire jar of black pepper onto the floor.

At this point, both of my kittens come tearing into the kitchen to see what all the noise is about. Curious to a fault, both start sniffing the pepper, and both start sneezing uncontrollably. In my haste to stop them sniffing the pepper and sneezing, I sweep a little too hard and kick up pepper dust, which makes me start sneezing uncontrollably.

Then I sweep next to the baseboard, and it turns out there is a crack under the baseboard that I was unaware of. Out of that unexpected crack runs… a roach, which the sneezing kittens start chasing, which is how they knock over the Christmas tree that I still haven’t put away. So now I’m sneezing and crying from the onions and chasing the sneezing kittens in my bra while they run around the kitchen after the roach like coked up gerbils.

We’re deep into the Yeah Yeah Yeahs by now and I could give a flying fuck about lasagna. I clean up the kitchen while glaring at what remains of the squash–the rod, which has developed a curious sheen.  I toss everything stew style into the pan and put it in the oven. I throw the sweaty squash rod in the trash.

And you know what?  The lasagna was good. But I’m making it with mushrooms next time.

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5 Responses to “Squash Death Match”

  1. Layla January 10, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    You know, if you videotaped the cats sneezing and put it on YouTube, I would watch it. Just something to think about for next time.

    • One Bad Yam Pajama January 10, 2011 at 2:21 am #

      …which is exactly why I need to figure out this magical “Media Card” mumbo jumbo.

  2. acleansurface January 10, 2011 at 4:07 am #

    Ever hear of an apron? Just sayin’.

    • Bee January 10, 2011 at 5:24 am #

      Oh, gosh … acleansurface posted this over on manofewords, and I’m SO glad. This is freakin’ awesome. The sequence of events with the topless cooking, the pepper, the kittens, the tree … this is SO something I would do! (I’m glad it tasted good, too. I hate it when everything goes craptastically wrong with a meal, and then it tastes like shit too.)

      • One Bad Yam Pajama January 11, 2011 at 1:51 am #

        Ha! Thanks! I wish I had video. My boyfriend refused to eat the lasagna, but he’s anti-vegetable. I swear he’s part gila monster.

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