When my younger cousin was in grade school, her mom always prepared the Thanksgiving turkey. After the holiday, she would exchange stories about the elaborate meal with her classmates. For some reason, the turkey that her friends described always seemed much bigger than the one her family ate. When she questioned her mom about the discrepancy, she reassured her.
"I always make a turkey."
The year my cousin learned to read she walked into the kitchen when her mom was prepping the big bird. Skeptical, she cross-examined her mom about the pinkish poultry. Her mom insisted that it was a turkey. Unconvinced, my cousin dragged a chair to their kitchen counter.
Gazing down, she read the label out loud: "C-H-I-C-K-E-N!"
When I heard about my aunt's mischief, I felt redeemed. I love to host guests for Thanksgiving, but don't enjoy roasting the turkey. Luckily, for the last several years other family members have taken on that task. So I can devote my attention to preparing sides and dessert.
After visiting the farmer's market, I often carry acorn squash decorated in orange and green. They are lovely roasted with a thin layer of olive oil. However, it's the roasted seeds, which taste like freshly made popcorn, that draw everyone to the table for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner snack again and again.
ROASTED SQUASH SEEDS
Rinse the seeds and layer them on a paper towel to air dry.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
Sprinkle the seeds with olive oil and season them with salt.
Cook until the seeds turn light brown.