By Dedra Cordle
We have all heard the saying “You can’t eat just one” in reference to Lay’s Potato Chips or some other equally delicious and not quite nutritious foods, but have you ever once heard it said about squash? Well, if you have gone throughout your life without hearing it, you are about to now.
“Squash is like potato chips – you can’t eat just one,” said Grove City resident Jimmie Buttrick.
Growing up in Alabama, Jimmie helped her grandparents cultivate – and consume – a productive garden, but there was something about the squash that just clicked with her palate.
“It’s delicious,” she said.
Luckily for her, she found another squash enthusiast in West Virginia native Jesse Buttrick and married him. For decades, they have been enjoying each other’s company and the parade of squash they see on their dinner table each season.
To help satisfy their craving for the succulent fruit, Jimmie and Jesse have carried on their respective family traditions by growing a garden wherever they reside. Jimmie jokingly refers to the years that they spent living in Chicago with limited space as a dark time.
Upon arrival in Columbus in 1990 and then in Grove City in 1994, the Buttrick’s have worked hard to maintain a plentiful garden to share with their family, their church and the community at large. They have experienced joy and frustration while planting and waiting for their crops to come to fruition, but in all their years of gardening they have never been puzzled by something until just recently.
Last week, as Jesse was checking on their beloved backyard garden, he noticed something was amiss with their squash section. Knowing his wife would not like to hear that a deer or rabbit was messing with her favored fruit, he took a closer look before reporting back to her. What he discovered was something very rare.
“Three of them had grown together,” said Jesse. “I have seen two of them grow together, but never three.”
Amused and puzzled, he picked the mutant squash and took it back to the house to show it to Jimmie. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
“It’s very weird,” she said. “Like Jesse, I have never seen something like that before.”
The Buttrick’s said they did not expect to see something like that ever again, but just recently Jesse found yet another squash that had fused together. Though strange things may be afoot in the squash section on the Buttrick’s large garden, they proclaim that the more there is, the merrier because you cannot eat just one.
“They will be delicious fried up and on the dinner table,” Jesse said.
Jimmie enthusiastically nodded her head at this and gave a little “yum” at the prospect of getting her skilled baking hands on the rare squash.
For those other squash lovers out there, Jimmie and Jesse Buttrick have offered some of their favorite ways to prepare squash. For fried squash, Jimmie recommends heating a skillet – preferably an iron skillet – with oil and encrusting the squash with cornmeal and pepper. After the squash is coated, place in the heated skillet and cook until it turns golden brown.
For grilled squash, Jesse recommends just putting it directly on the grill, but be sure to monitor it because it doesn’t take long to cook.
For a gathering, Jimmie recommends a recipe from the “Down Home in High Style Cookbook.” The recipe is as follows for the Squash Supreme:
1 pound yellow squash, cooked and drained
1 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup
8 ounces sour cream
1 4-ounce jar pimento, drained and chopped
1 8 -ounce can water chestnuts, chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
A cup of butter
1 8-ounce package herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1 tablespoon butter
Combine all ingredients except herb stuffing mix. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.