Cooking Tip #2: How to Easily Cut Open a Winter Squash

I’ll never forget the first Thanksgiving meal we hosted at our house. Newly married and ferociously excited to entertain, I encountered a problem of epic proportions.

No, it wasn’t the stress of a turkey taking an hour and a half longer than planned, to cook in that deep fryer vat of oil. And it wasn’t worrying over in-laws and parents spending time together.

No, my biggest worry was how to cut open a rutabaga without losing a thumb or slicing my wrist artery. Winter squash are one of the hardest things to cut open without damaging yourself in the process.

I survived the experience without a trip to the ER and have since perfected the method.

All you need is a crinkle cutter {they can be found for less than $10} and a meat tenderizer mallet.

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It’s so safe, you can actually let your children help.
Which I would never recommend if you are cutting winter squash the old fashioned way.

You’ll basically hammer the mallet on top of the crinkle cutter, so choose a cutter that can withstand a lot of pounding. Mine is from Pampered Chef {remember all those PC parties you attended back in the early 2000’s?} and even with a plastic handle – it has held up well.

Position the cutter on the side/middle of the squash and wedge in as much as you can. Then start whacking the top of the cutter with your meat mallet. The cutter will slowly begin to edge through the squash. 

The more dense the squash, the more pounding that is required. So a spaghetti squash isn’t as hard to cut through as a rutabaga. Once the squash is cut in half, you can more easily peel the squash and then begin cutting {with a real butcher’s knife} into the desired size.

You can even use this method to cut the top off of pumpkins!

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I hope this tip helps save your thumbs this fall & winter season!

jessica

 

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