Dutchy Fried Squash
Dorcas Annette Walker
I’ve found out no matter how long we live our parent’s influence will follow us, especially in the realm of food. It is amazing how much a person’s upbringing shapes the way we eat. Just when I think that I am completely my own person evolved from being exposed to other culinary cultures in different parts of the United States, I find myself eating something from my childhood. Different seasons of the year trigger off a hunger for something I ate while growing up. For me summer isn’t complete without a platter of fried squash. Now, not just any fried squash mind you, but what I call Dutchy Fried Squash from my father, who was Pennsylvania Dutch. I have never been a big eater, but I confess that when it comes to fried yellow squash I completely forget any ladylike tendencies I’ve learned about eating dainty portions and completely pig out. I’ve even been known to eat a whole plate of fried squash. My family has learned to turn a blind eye on me when the garden summer squash comes in.
One summer company came by our place to stay for a few days when our daughter was still small. We had never met these people before in our lives, but they knew my parents. These folk had a skinny teenage son, who seemed to be quite bored with life in general. In fact the only place the fellow perked up was at the table. I was quite shocked to find out that the mother’s cooking consisted of making up a huge pot of food in the beginning of the week and then having the family eat the same leftovers for the rest of the week- I kid you not! So needless to say the husband and son thought they hit paradise-on-earth having home-cooked meals with lots of baked goods to fill up on in-between.
One meal I set out a large platter of fried yellow squash. This poor family have never seen nor eaten fried squash before. By now the husband and teenage son was willing to try anything I cooked. They were quite fascinated by the fact that to me the only way to eat fried squash is to put a spoonful of homemade apple butter on top. They hesitantly tried one piece, realized instantly how delicious it was, and without warning cleaned up the entire platter of fried squash. From then on I fried up squash for every meal and was hard put to grab a couple of pieces for myself before it totally disappeared. So I’ll post a warning here that my Dutchy Fried Squash can become habit forming. The Dutchy Fried Squash takes only fifteen minutes to prepare and this recipe makes twelve pieces.
Dutchy Fried Squash
1 yellow squash
3 tb shortening
½ c milk
1 c self-rising flour
salt and pepper
homemade apple butter
Melt shortening in an iron skillet. Wash, trim the stem ends, and slice the squash into 1/8 round pieces. Beat together in a small bowl the egg and milk. Dip a slice of squash into the egg/milk mixture and then coat it with flour. Place in the hot iron skillet and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Fry for five minutes until one side is golden brown, turn over, cover skillet, and brown the other side. Serve hot with a spoonful of homemade apple butter!
Weekly tip: Summer yellow squash skins are so thin and tender that they require no peeling, the seeds are soft enough to eat, and cooks up quickly. Harvest young squash when close to two inches in diameter for frying!