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Spaghetti Squash

November 16, 2010
By Wendy Monro

There is nothing more humbling than a sudden realization that you aren't as good of a person as you thought you were. Don't get me wrong; I never thought I was perfect. Everyone has areas of their character that need improvement. I knew there are parts of my character which I could develop. However, I was under the impression that I am quite an easy going person. I love to meet new people. I don't mind moving around a lot for my husband's job. I love going to new places and learning about new cultures. I try to understand where people are coming from and not to judge easily. That sounds easy going, right? Then, I had this discussion with my husband and mom a few months earlier which startled me.

We were all sitting around the table after a delicious meal, sipping wine when the subject of an easy going person came up. I chimed in with, "Well, I KNOW I am an easy going person." My mom and Claud looked at each other and laughed. I was so confused. I knew they were wrong. I didn't know if they were joking with me or what was happening. Since that day, I have brought it up again several times, "Were you two joking?" I would ask Claud. "You weren't serious, right?" I'd question my mom. Finally, I think Claud said, "Yes, it was all a big joke," just to get me to stop talking about it. I didn't realize then that bringing it up so often was far from being easy going. I just wasn't getting it.

Then, this week, I had an epiphany. I was going back and forth in an email conversation with one of my clients. The discussion escalated into an uncomfortable battle of he said she said. It was ridiculous. I finally picked up the phone and had a real verbal conversation which straightened everything out in a matter of minutes. UgghI have such difficulty with email conversations sometimes. Anyway, the person I was speaking with said something that triggered my epiphany, "when I write to you, sometimes you respond as if you are being attacked." I told her that I felt attacked. She was absolutely right. Her criticism makes my chest tighten up, my head ache and my stomach starts to hurt. She said she never meant to make me feel that way and that she wasn't attacking me at all. Huh?

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I hung up the phone and sat there in silence thinking, wow, I do this. I can't take criticism very well. I am NOT easy going. This needs to end now. I felt so relieved. This is what Claud and my mom were talking about. I immediately called my mom and left her a message, "Mom! I am NOT easy going. I get it. Call me." All of these instances of my feeling attacked and reacting badly flooded my mind. Oh, how I wish I could take that all back. I can't. All I can do is improve on this today. I gave up on work that day and decided to focus on what I love insteadcooking.

I went to the market to figure out what I would make for this article. I walked through the produce aisle and spotted a prominent display of squashes. It's that time of year when all of the different squashes make their appearance. They looked so pretty; but, they also looked like hard work. I bet a lot of people pass them up because they look difficult to work with. I have cooked many squashes and know they aren't really that difficult to work with. I thought it would be a good idea to show people how easy going they can be. Sure, they have a tough outer protective rind that seems impenetrable; but, all it takes is a little heat to loosen that baby up and make it easy to work with.

I decided to cook a spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is also known as noodle squash and gold string melon. I think gold string melon is appropriate because it resembles gold string more than spaghetti once it's cooked. It is high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin C. They can be baked, boiled, cooked in the microwave or cooked in the slow cooker. How's that for easy going? Once you have cooked them for a bit, they are soft and easy to work with. All you do is add a little salt, pepper, and butter and you have a delicious and nutritious side dish. I served mine with chicken and potatoes. However, you could serve it with any meat or fish. Once again, squash reveals its easy going nature. I hope to some day be as easy going as squash. With a conscious effort, I think I can accomplish this.

Fact Box

Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash

Cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place it rind up in an oven safe dish with about an inch of water at the bottom. Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Take it out and let it cool for about ten minutes. Scoop out the inside of the rind into a bowl. Add the butter, salt and pepper. Mix well. Serve.

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