Strength Needed 


I consider myself a fairly strong person. I can fairly easily lift 50 pound bags of mulch and put them in my car. Not that fifty pounds is so much, but as a large unwieldy bag it is more difficult than its weight suggests. If a lid is stuck on a jar I am usually able to open it without resorting to the husband handoff. All that being said I might have met my match in a squash.
I have been having a little craving for some red sauce of the Italian sort. My issue is I am also having a hard time eating healthy in the post holiday diet season. So in my need to avoid pasta I was searching for something to satisfy my red sauce habit. I spotted the perfect answer to my dilemma at Trader Joe’s. A nice spaghetti squash for $3.29.  
I bought two last Thursday and brought them home in the hope of convincing the rest of the family that they thought squash was an acceptable substitution for pasta. Then one thing led to another and we ate out or enjoyed other things that were found in the fridge and the squash sat idly by on the counter. All this time my Italian craving was multiplying.
Tonight is the night I am going to satisfy my need for tomato sauce. Russ is on a business trip and when I suggested to Carter my plan she gave me the “what are my other choices?” look. Off she went to basketball with the promise she could eat any leftover in the fridge, but I am holding out the hope she will choose the “Italian.”
One of the beauties of pasta is you boil water, dump in the contents of a box and ten minutes later you have a blank palette ready to accept the artistry of any sauce you concoct. The squash route seemed like it was equally easy, just more time consuming because you have to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and bake it in the oven for at least 45 minutes.

Ok, not too much trouble.  
I went to work on my sauce, using up some mushrooms I had in the fridge and pulling out the homemade turkey meatballs I had in the freezer. Fairly healthy if I say so myself. This is going to be a low guilt and easy to manufacture satisfaction. That was until I went to try and cut the squash.
I took out my heaviest cleaver hoping I could cut the yellow orb in two with one whack. Not a chance. I hardly scored the tough outer hull. I got out my wooden rolling pin to use as a hammer against the cleaver. I only dented the wood of the pin. I tried another thinner blade knife, no piercing at all. I rummaged around in the rare utensil drawer and came up with the meat pounding mallet. I used that heavy hammer to bang on the back side of the cleaver and was able to get the knife stuck into the squash just the littlest bit. I then was able to pick the squash up with the cleaver and slam it on the cutting board. Many hits later I eventually broke the vegetable on two unequal parts.
I am not envisioning using spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta into my old age, that is unless I get a kitchen band saw. No wonder boxed pasta has got such a hold on America. It is far easier to cook that a squash.



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