Pumpkins & Squash

Pumpkins & Squash

I was talking with my friend Amy after the Wed night prayer meeting. Her son, Kyle, was heading toward us looking very sad.

I watched as his mother leaned in to speak softly to her unhappy child.

 Kyle opened a goodie bag he got that night during our King’s Kids children’s ministry.  He said, “Mommy, I wanted a little pumpkin, but I got THIS.”  THIS was a golden colored ornamental SQUASH.  Amy & I exchanged looks, and a laugh!

Kyle had been the last child chosen to pick a Fall related prize from the gift table set up to celebrate the harvest season.  It was obvious this little 8 yr old had his heart set on something he wanted, but it just didn’t work out this time.

I found out from my son who was working in the children’s program that day, that there WAS a choice between a little pumpkin & the bigger squash, & Kyle actually CHOSE the squash.  In the “hurry up & pick a prize” moment, the bigger one seemed best.

I listened with empathy as Amy told him, “Honey, this is just what we need to decorate our Thanksgiving table.” 

I’m not sure Kyle was convinced that squash could ever be a good thing, but a mother’s heart wants to shield her children from life’s disappointments. 

God is like that, even more so.  He knows that the choices we make can either bring regret or blessings.  Sometimes He even gives us what we want knowing that our human nature will never satisfied for long with THINGS.

We have a God-shaped yearning in our souls that can only be satisfied with a personal relationship with the One that created us in the first place.

I’m sharing today the recipes for gooey pumpkin bars & yellow squash casserole.  Sometimes when you want a pumpkin, life gives you squash, so we had best be prepared for both!      :-)         

Confectionately Yours,

Sue

PUMPKIN GOOEY BARS
Crust
1 (18.25) pkg. yellow cake mix 
8 T. butter, melted
1 eggCombine the mix, egg, and melted butter together using a hand mixer. Pat 2/3 of the crust into a 9×13 pan and the rest in an 8×8 pan. Crust will be thinly spread.

Pumpkin Filling
2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. butter, melted
1-1/2 lb. powdered sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 (15-oz.) cans pumpkin
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs 
whipped topping, any amount

Beat the cream cheese until smooth and add the powdered sugar. Beat in the pumpkin.

Add the eggs and vanilla, then the melted butter and spices. Taste and add more powdered sugar to taste if desired. 

Pour 2/3 of the mixture into the 9×13 pan and the rest into the 8×8 pan. 

Bake in a preheated 350° for 40-50 degrees. The center should
be a little gooey, hence the name. Top with whipped cream when serving. Yield: 20 servings from 9×13 pan and 12 from 8×8.
Note: I tweaked the original recipe because the crust seemed too thick, the filling too thin and was sweeter than I liked. This is so good, I might be willing to give up pumpkin pie. This dish freezes well, so the extra pan could be saved for a later date.
Wrap well, label, and freeze for up to 2 months.

Yellow Squash Casserole
2 c. yellow squash, sliced 
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1-2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
salt and pepper, to taste
Ritz crackers, crushed (optional)

Steam squash over boiling water until fork tender, about 5-7 minutes. Place in a 2 quart casserole dish. Add onion. Sprinkle half of cheese on top. 
Mix soup and sour cream; pour over squash. Add more cheese. Top with crushed crackers. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30-40 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Note: The sauce is also good with steamed cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots as a casserole. Steaming the squash keeps it from being watery.