An Intruder has been in my house.
Early last evening I went into the spare room next to the kitchen to put away some squash I had purchased from Green Strings Farm. I have a basket on a shelf in that side room where I often store squash just to keep it out of the way. As I approached the basket I noticed something looked funny in the basket. There was a huge hole in the side of the acorn squash; it kind of looked like the squash had exploded and shot seeds everywhere. When I got closer and picked up the squash I noticed TEETH MARKS. I was actually stunned into incomprehension. Suddenly, as I was beginning to get the picture that this squash hadn’t done this to itself. I slowly began to take a look around, maybe for a pair of eyes staring back at me. Rat – was my first thought – but with a hole this size, this would have been a pretty large rat – which was even more disgusting. I didn’t see any sign of animal life nearby, I just didn’t get it. Then it hit me – two days ago I woke to find my cat, Tyson, strolling in from outside without hearing him paw at the door to be let in. I went to the kitchen and found the door to the next room blown wide open. I did have a fleeting thought that anyone or anything could have entered the house, but then I dismissed it. O.K. – here is the question – Who did enter and who gnawed away at my squash ? I mean look at the hole and look at the teeth marks. I just kept thinking that I have trouble cutting into an acorn squash myself. So after searching the house several more times, I did bag the squash and continue with dinner plans but I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. I think I have settled on the invader – a squirrel (or 2 or 3 or 4 for all I know – a party jumping up on the selves). We do have squirrels dashing across the yard every day, eating my oranges as their first choice. I am way happier with the image of a squirrel than I am a rat, but of course it is just a guess.
Then I made the Leek Fritters with Cilantro Yogurt sauce from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. I really liked them. I did short cut one step – of whipping an egg white to soft peaks – I sort of whipped it to soft – not easy to peaks by hand. I mean I didn’t even think of pulling out the Kitchen Aid to whip up one egg white. I have made this once before and I do think the batter was a little lighter and it made for a fluffier fritter that time. I know I still whipped the egg white by hand but my arm may have been stronger. I had a left over fritter for lunch today, reheated in a skillet and served it with an arugula salad both dressed with the yogurt sauce. I gave it an “8” – Stuart said “7.”
One final thought – that little acorn squash meal must have taken some time. Did my intruder just jump, hop, slither up to the self, sit in the basket and enjoy himself? I actually got up in the middle of the night just to be sure that door was still closed.