Squash for Thanksgiving: Appreciation of a Native Vegetable

Thanksgiving Decoration by alasam

Thanksgiving is coming soon and if you are like TheGardenLady, you are planning your festive meal. In contemplating what to serve, it struck me that there is one vegetable that is so tied up with the holiday, a vegetable that one could use as a basis for almost every course in the menu, that we should truly give thanks to the Native Americans who taught the Pilgrims about it. The vegetable I am writing about is the squash, in the genus Cucurbita which includes the pumpkin. So this year I am planning to be a little more creative with my Thanksgiving menu- making the theme of the menu based on squashes. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or a carnivore, this might be something for you to consider this Thanksgiving.

First, to decorate the table, I think an assortment of squashes can look very festive as a centerpiece. It is a centerpiece that will hold up and last and can be used over the winter. Unlike cut flowers, winter squashes last and do not have to be refrigerated and can be used for months. (The thinner skinned, summer squashes like zucchini will have to be put in the refrigerator after a few days.) I thought I might put the squashes on a base of yellow fall leaves, if I can still find leaves by Thanksgiving and add some curlicued streamers. But one person’s blog went one step further and carved the squashes to resemble flowers.  See here.  I don’t know if I am so ambitious as to cook a full meal for the family and have time to carve my decorations.

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