How to Be Brave With Squash

A letter to my brothers:

I miss you.

I miss your hands and your smiles and the real talk and I miss how noisy you are and how nosey you are, and even though we live in the same city, I'm living such a different life now, and I wish I could share the best bits of it with you, because I know you'd like it.

I want to tell you some stuff that has been in my head.

I want to tell you that people are awesome. That if you ask, people will tell you really magical things. That there is so much learning you can do, if you just listen. No one ever told me. 
I want to tell you that people are disappointing. That given the chance, people will disappoint you. And that this is the hardest lesson to learn. No one ever told me. 

I want to tell you that no one is actually judging you, and if they are: fuck 'em. 
I want to tell you that you should not be afraid, that whatever you are doing in this moment, is okay.
I want to tell you that sleep is really grand. 
I want to tell you to hold doors open. 
I want to tell you to stay away from users and losers. 
I want to tell you that making things is good. Even if what you make is shitty.

I want to tell you about this squash.

It was too big.


I bought it with some friends at the Hope Farmer's Market. I think the name of the squash is "Marrow Squash." It was huge. As big as a medium sized pumpkin. Which is very large for a squash. 
I called it my baby. 
Which was awkward when I cut it up and roasted it and baked it into a savory tart. 

And it was really fucking good. 

Darling boys, here is what I really want to tell you. 

Be brave. Be brave. Be brave. 

Be brave in the kitchen, especially with intimidating squashes. 
Be brave with putting yourself out there. 
Be brave with friends. 
Be brave with strangers. 
Be brave enough to go to the party, and brave enough to leave when you're ready.

And as we all run into strange new worlds, in which we lose touch more easily and speak less, I just want you to know this:

If nothing else, be brave with the squash. 


How To Be Brave With Squash

I cut my monster baby squash in half, scooped out the seeds, and rubbed the insides with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, dried thyme and basil. I cooked it for half an hour, at 4oo degrees, until the flesh was soft. And then, when it was cooked through, I scooped the insides out, chopped them into a soft pulp, and added more salt. Then I patted it into a soft shell of uncooked pie dough that I hadn't used yet, grated Some Very Fine Irish Cheddar Cheese over it and baked it at 375 for 30 minutes. 

It tasted good. 

I was lucky.