I haven’t forgotten about this blog—but my house is a little disjointed, inside and out. Cooking has not been high on my list of things to do.
First of all … I am a construction zone! Parts of my house that have been falling apart for years are now being fixed. In general, I’m happy to see the work being done. Of course, I wish the process were less expensive. And I wish the nice construction guys would arrive just a tad later in the morning. I’m thrilled that the house is going to be solid again, however.
My nice friend Michael has also been painting inside the house. I envisioned a soft buttery yellow for the living room so I bought many, MANY paint-sample cans and had friends help me paint swatches on the living-room wall. For a while the room looked like a patchwork quilt. We finally decided on a very light yellow. Even after all of my consultations and deliberations, I’m not 100 percent sure that the color is not TOO light and TOO yellowy. (I’d show you a picture, but the color doesn’t show up well on my camera.)
It’s clean and fresh, however, so I’ll live with it quite happily. Now if I could just remember where everything went on the walls and in the room before we moved it all in order to paint!
Michael also painted the kitchen a brighter yellow, which I adore. While he was painting, however, cooking not only slowed down. It stopped.
Finally, the indoor space has been disrupted by two adorable little boy foster kittens who are staying with us for a while. Luckily, my own Ruby and Truffle adore them. Having three young cats in the house makes things awfully lively, however, particularly in the middle of the night. The good news: the mice coming in for the winter are being hunted down relentlessly. The bad news: my feather boas apparently look like big mice.
Despite all the chaos I did decide to create a new recipe a couple of days ago. Before my farm share ended last week, the farm supplied us with a couple of months’ worth of squash. I love squash, particularly butternut squash. I’m happy eating it mashed or made into soup or roasted in the oven.
With all the rain, however, I was longing for something novel and (I admit it) slightly fattening. So I decided to try fritterizing some squash.
I’m partial to savory rather than sweet fritters so these are just a little spicy. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure whether they’re fritters or pancakes; they have a certain latke-like consistency. Whatever they are, they’re extremely satisfying now that the weather is getting just a bit cooler. I imagine one could make them with other types of fall squash.
Here’s the recipe. I’ll be back with another when things calm down a bit on the home front!
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (a little less if you don’t like spice)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
chopped chives, parsley, and/or cilantro as desired
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup (generous) grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups grated butternut squash (peel the squash first and scoop out the seeds and goop; 2 cups will be about half of a small squash)
peanut, canola, or even olive oil as needed for frying
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
In a bowl whisk together the eggs, salt, spices, herbs, and garlic. Stir in the flour, followed by the cheese. Mix with a spoon until blended; then stir in the grated squash. Your batter will be mostly squash.
Pour oil into a frying pan until it just about covers the bottom of the pan when you swirl it around to distribute it. Heat the oil until it is about 350 degrees. (It will shimmer!)
Pop spoonsful of batter into the hot oil.
Cook the batter quickly, turning as needed, until it is golden brown. Do not crowd the fritters in the pan! They will be idiosyncratic but lovely. Add a little more oil if you really must for frying.
When individual fritters are ready drain them on paper towels and store them in the warm oven until all the fritters have been cooked.
Serves 4 to 6 generously.