Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, the old calendar has rolled over one more time, and in spite of all efforts of the local traffic to kill me, I am officially one year older today. There are both good and bad aspects of this, as there are of everything: on the good side, obviously, I'm still alive. On the bad side, I get to enjoy more "oldest guy in the office" jokes. The good outweighs the bad, though.

A few thoughts on being 56 years old:

- It's not 60. The lower border for "old age" is always 10 years ahead of you.

- Jane Seymour (sadly voted off Dancing with the Stars last night, and a woman I've loved from afar for many years) is the same age I am.

- Having four grandchildren is, well, grand!

- It's a bit amazing to think that I was born less than 100 years after the beginning of the American Civil War (traditionally thought of as the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861).

- I can still dance rings around most men my age. Heck, I can still dance rings around most men, period.

- For a guy who was the poster child for geekdom in high school, I think I've managed to turn into, if not a hot stud, then at least an Alpha Geek.

- Despite my mother's prediction many years ago that I "have at least one good book in (me)," I haven't published anything yet. I think I'll try to race Serina Hope to the authorial finish line.

- Agnes hasn't strangled me in my sleep yet, though not for want of provocation. She's a saint.

Okay, enough ruminations. Here's my birthday gift to you: I love squash of all kinds, and was hungry for a good squash recipe last night. Here's one I found on and made last night - fast, easy (except for cutting the hard squash), and absolutely delicious:

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Molasses Glaze

- 4 small acorn squash
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 large green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- 1 pound bulk breakfast sausage (I used Jimmy Dean regular)
- 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup canned beef broth
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit (205 Celsius). Cut two 3/4-inch slices from the center of each acorn squash, for a total of eight slices (reserving the ends for another use). Scoop out the seeds and fibers from the center slices and discard. Spray a 15x10x2-inch baking dish with cooking spray and arrange the squash rings in a single layer.

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and green onions and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool. Mix in the sausage, bread crumbs, broth, pepper, and salt. Mound the sausage mixture in the center of each squash ring, using about 1/3 cup of mixture for each. (NOTE: the recipe can be prepared up to this point a day ahead...cover and refrigerate until ready to cook).

Brush the sausage and squash with half the molasses. Bake 15 minutes. Brush with the remaining molasses and bake until the squash is tender and the sausage cooked through, about 25 minutes more.


Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

Happy b-day!! Hope you have a grand one!

Sue said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

Have a 'ball'! (heheheh)

That squash recipe looks way more fancy than anything I've ever attempted cooking! Looks like fun!

Amanda said...

Happy Birthday to you Bilbo!! Have a fantastic day.

I'm looking forward to the books that both you and Serina Hope will be writing.

John A Hill said...

Happy birthday! If you get a chance scroll to the bottom of my page and hit the link for my first post. I haven't gotten any farther than that on my "book."

Have a great day!

NathanRyder said...

Happy Birthday! Have a great day!

Be Inspired Always said...

Happy Birthday :)

My Birthday is coming up as well.


Mike said...

56! Your just a kid!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Happy Birthday, Bilbo. You have a fine taste with Jane Seymour.

Serina Hope said...

Happy Birthday!
We'll make it a race. I have just gotten started on the notes for mine, so I will probably be easy to beat.
I love acorn squash. I am definetly going to try this recipe.

Bilbo said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments!

Sue - the recipe is actually very easy.

Amanda - you'll get one of the first copies. Hopefully you won't be too old to read it by the time its done.

John - I'll check it out!

Jillian - Happy Birthday to You, too!

Mike - can I get that in writing to show the folks at the office?

Jean-Luc - Jane Seymour defines "class." She's the most beautiful woman since Agnes.

Serina - I, too, have lots of notes, but they're all disjointed and without plot so far. We may end up neck and neck on this. Let me know how you like the squash!