As a child I found squash odious. Consequently, as an adult I never cooked it.

Then, I discovered the joy of a simple, homemade butternut squash soup: fry an apple and onions in a generous amount of curry before adding broth and squash and you have the makings of a delicious meal.

Last year a friend shared a few squashes with us. I’d relaxed my I hate squash stance due to the undeniable delights of the butternut variety, but that was as far as I’d taken it.

Buttercup squash, it turns out, is creamy, nutty and versatile.

Newly convinced me that this was something I should grow in my garden, this past summer I felt a surge of pride at the thick, green health of my buttercup squash plants… until a groundhog took up residency under our shed, making my garden his personal daily buffet. He devastated everything, especially the squash.

Still, the regenerative power of nature is astonishing. We relocated the groundhog and, with some advice from our squash-growing friend, were able to harvest four or five small buttercup squashes to cook and enjoy. They were delicious. And then they were gone. I thought my fun with fall squash was over.

Until yesterday.

Our lovely, hobby-farming friend dropped by with a gift: produce from her garden. So many squashes, in fact, that I felt like a giddy school girl looking at the pile!

An unexpected kindness.

Holly Dickson-Ramos is a freelance writer living in Ontario, Canada. She has published articles in Faces, Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide, Country Woman, Momsense, Purpose Magazine and Teaching Librarian. Calling Out: Prayers for those in Isolation is her first book.

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