Roasted Squash Mac'n Cheese


Welcome to my Rant.  There is a recipe at the end of the tunnel.  I promise.
Thanksgiving weekend has just passed in the US.  It's an awesome 4 day weekend for them.  It's a lovely time.  Unless you are shopping.  It's been big news here in Canada.  The whole black friday fiasco.  The whole issue of whether having big savings shopping days where people get themselves whipped into a frenzy is a wise thing to do.  We participated too, we Canadians.  It's rumoured that Canadians spent a breezy 5 billion dollars in the U.S. last year on black friday weekend.
A friend was posting a few things on FB about the whole thing.  It was mostly video's from youtube  - you know... the pepper spray, the running frenzy, the yelling, the mobs.  What I found interesting was the response to these video's.  Declarations of disgust.  What have we become.  It wasn't like this before.  The angst.  The hand ringing.  The revulsion.  One person responded that the U.S.  is becoming like a third world country.
That one broke me entirely.
I wanted to respond so badly but FB seems like this forum for saying whatever you want in a complete vacuum and I just can't bring myself to engage.  (I'd rather do it here - like that makes any sense)
If I had responded then I would have said things like this: The idea that 'third world' countries behave like animals is one that I find even more repulsive and repugnant than pepper spraying a crowd in order to grab an Xbox.  If only people in so called third world countries had the luxury of behaving like that for such trivialities.  They're too busy making the damn Xbox. Then there is the whole side of this story that has been created by the last 30 years of hyper-consumerism in the West.  How desperate does someone have to feel to use pepper spray to get an Xbox?
Why am I not hearing anything about how heartbreaking it is that a holiday is completely overshadowed by bargain basement shopping?  Why am I not hearing about how this situation is inevitable when 50% of New Yorkers have a household income of $30,000 or less and 1% of New Yorkers have an average income (almost exclusively listed as being from the 'financial industry' or 'financial innovation') of 3.7 million?  (from 'Grow Together or Pull Apart?: Income Concentration Trends in New York' December 2010, Fiscal Policy Institute - Manhattan based Non-Profit group).  Why am I not hearing about the need to reign in the advertising industry?  Why are we more repulsed by the idea of people clamouring to get a bargain than we are by the reasons that are behind the clamour?  It makes me feel sad, frustrated and for sure not very thankful.


As an addendum, I recently watched an interview with Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr about deeper understanding and unification between the classes in the U.S.  When asked what his advice would be to young Americans he said:  VOTE - register and vote.  Then he added that he would also tell them to stay in school and READ.  We have a choice.  At least I want to believe that we have a choice.  I need to believe it.


My rant had nothing to do with what I thought was a damn good dish and pretty easy because it doesn't have to be baked.  It's kinda like my own KD with good crap in it.  Kid #2 ate it and that's sayin' something.  If you want yet another idea for squash that won't kill you to make or look completely disgusting to those not used to eating such pleasures then this is a great place to start.


Roasted Butternut squash Mac N Cheese  adapted from Good Food Magazine
serves about 6

1/2 medium butternut (or other) squash - about 2 cups - cubed
 - tossed in oil of choice, salted and roasted on a baking sheet at 350 degrees F for 25 - 30 minutes -
1 small cauliflower or choufleur or broccoli - broken into smallish pieces
2 1/2 cups dry pasta (I used penne)

Cheese Sauce

6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp (or so) flour
3 3/4 cup warmed milk
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
dash of soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp dijon mustard (or dry mustard powder - NOT yellow mustard)
2 cups cheese (I used a mix of old cheddar and parmesan - pick your poison just make sure it melts reasonably well)

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add in the pasta and simmer for about 5 minutes less than it needs to be al dente.  Add the cauliflower/choufleur to the simmering water 5 minutes before the pasta is ready.  Once ready, drain and set aside.
2.  In another heavy bottomed pot melt the butter over med/low heat.  Once melted add in the flour and mix together until they form a paste.  Very gradually add in the warm milk, stirring constantly.  Continue stirring and once the sauce begins to thicken then add in the Worcestershire, Soy, salt, dijon and cheese (and a little something hot if you please).  Check the tastes and make sure that it's to your liking.
3.  In a large bowl mix together the pasta cauliflower and roasted squash and mix it up together.  Pour the sauce over top and mix just until the sauce is distributed throughout.
SERVE

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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