Sunday, November 6, 2011
Butternut squash bread contains neither butter nor nuts (discuss)
When I saw this recipe for squash tea bread from Eating Well, I immediately did a double-take. Having lived in the UK for nearly two years, hearing the word 'squash' immediately conjured up a different association with 'tea.'
Namely, a fruity, rather overly-sweet drink. A bit like Hi-C or Capri Sun for those of you who have never lived across the pond. Squash for tea? That would be like drinking Hawaiian Punch from fine china!
To add to the confusion, tea in the UK can be a drink, a light meal of cakes, sandwiches, and tea (think 'high tea') or a synonym for dinner itself, at least in the Midlands and the North of England where I lived for most of my time there, before moving to London.
So was this bread made with orange soda and hot tea? Was this an orange soda bread for high tea? Or was it a bread designed to be eaten with the meal known as 'tea?' Tea the meal, or tea as in 'tea and cucumber sandwiches with biscuits?'
A quick glance of the recipe discerned that it was a butternut squash quick bread recipe designed to be eaten at tea-time.
Although there is still linguistic confusion--butternut squash contains neither butter nor nuts...just imagine how lovely it would be if you could pick off a fruit or vegetable from a vine, slice it open and find oozing, melted butter or peanut butter within...
And don't even get me started on how for many years while reading National Velvet, I was unimpressed by the heroine's fondness for Mars Bars (I never liked them), only to discover that in England, Mars Bars are a totally different and more delicious concoction--more like a Milky Way.
The distinctions between the names of UK and American candy are very perplexing. For example, Smarties are nondescript, horrible discs of sweet nothingness in the US--the 'coal' of the trick-or-treat bag.
I have no more words, as words often confuse more than they illuminate when it comes to food (as any reader of local restaurant reviews can tell you). Here is the bread I made, not the Eating Well version....an ultra-dense, almost pate-like quick bread.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups butternut squash puree (I used canned)
2 large beaten eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil and line a 8X4 inch pan with parchment.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and spices together
3. Mix the squash, eggs, oil, and honey. Gradually incorporate the dry mixture.
4. Bake for 60-75 minutes, until a toothpick can be extracted 'clean.'