18 September 2009

The Country Seasons Cookbook

Gladys Manyan wanted to be a singer. But as often happens in life, she fell in love, married and had children. She thought she might end up on the stage in New York City but she ended up in the woods of New Hampshire. In the end, not a bad trade off.

She and her husband bought a farm with twenty-one acres, a house, a barn and some out buildings for $2,300. It was the 60’s! Today you need an extra set of zeros to even think about such a property. But back then, in true sixties style, Manyan developed an interest in healthy cooking and became a bit of a “health nut”. Though she started out as a lousy cook, she became quite proficient and for many years wrote a column called “A Domestic View” for The Concord Monitor.

In 1974 she assembled a collection of her recipes following a month-by-month arrangement. It’s a kind of “crunchy granola” type of cookbook that sprang up, as hippies became health food advocates. There are a lot of recipes with soya powder and carob, recipes for making your own yogurt and wine and several references to Euell Gibbons.

Manyan’s husband was never a big squash eater and like me, he did not want nuts in his food, but this is a squash he loved. She believes that anyone who hates squash will be converted with this recipe.

Mashed Squash With Honey

1 medium butternut squash or other winter squash
1/2 cup water
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom seed
pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup broken nuts

Peel the squash, cut into cubes, and put in a saucepan. Add water and some salt, cover and cook it until soft. Drain, mash, then add butter, honey, and cardamom, if available. Add pepper, preferably freshly ground, and fold in the nutmeats (if used).

OK, I will eat it but you simply must leave out the nits!

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