A Butternut Sonnet (or Three)
As the autumn leaves set fire to the sky
the garden now begins to fade away.
A tale that tells of summer drawing nigh,
kids back in school, no longer out to play.
Amongst the dying vines of summertime
fall and winter treasures speckle the earth.
The vision of these is simply sublime;
it's hard for me to even count their worth.
Pumpkins! Fall's best-known squash for making pie.
Green acorn squash! Less known, but oh! So pretty!
But of all the squash, you I can't deny;
Butternut, to you I sing this diddy.
Butternut, you have a tough outer shell
that keeps you from spoiling most of the year.
Lacking green streaks on your outside does tell
your insides are ripe and nothing's to fear.
I've been fooled by letting you sit too long;
when you rot and implode, something's gone wrong.
Before you spoil, I'll prepare your insides,
brilliant orange and firm before they're cooked.
Using a peeler, my hand gently glides
to remove the tough skin; none's overlooked.
Once peeled, I (lengthwise) will split you in two;
now open I clearly see all your seeds.
A flick of the wrist and twist of a spoon --
to remove the kernels is all it needs.
Laid on the flat side I slice it lengthwise,
then turn ninety degrees to cut small squares.
Now decide if it sautées, grills, or fries;
though roasting is best - and with wine it pairs!
Turn the oven to four-hundred degrees
and add cubed squash to a nine-by-thirteen.
Drizzle oil and salt; shake the pan with ease.
Bake forty minutes; stir half-way between.
Roasted with salt, pepper, and oil is best -
methods with sugar oft fail the taste test.
Butternut's riches are more than its taste:
So sweet and delicious you'd never know
its nutritive value's nothing to waste.
If you don't believe, sit back for the show:
This squash -- a cancer-prevent-er for sure:
antioxidants turn to vitamin A.
Beta-carotenes, lutein - so pure! -
capturing free radicals ev'ry which-way.
For heart disease, too, this squash knows its stuff -
full of great fiber with zero sat fat.
Against bad cholesterol it's real tough;
all of those numbers are gonna fall flat!
Butternut seeds, too, you might want to keep.
They're full of good fat and protein, to boot.
Toss your vitamins; supplements aren't cheap.
Instead try this squash and its seeds to suit!
This food's practically perfect in each way;
won't you invite butternut home to stay?