Would you like some squash with your butter?

January 18th, 2006

Six months after my Grama Dee passed away, my family was a sad mess. It was the first time in all our lives, that we’d not had our beloved grandma around to prepare us our New Year’s Day feast. And to add to that gloom, it was also the first anniversary for me and my siblings of my father telling us that he was divorcing our mother. Needless to say, January 1st, 1999 was not the happiest of days for me.

So in order to give myself a little bit of comfort, I decided that I would make my own little New Year’s Day feast. One of the essential menu items being my grama’s “squash” as she called it. But unfortunately, I’d never learned how to make my grama’s squash. So I furiously went through all my recipe cards she’d sent me over the years, and then realized that I did not have it. I really did not know how to make her squash. And when that fact hit me, well…I guess you could say that I had a bit of a meltdown. My back slowly slid down the front of my refrigerator, until my body was collapsed into a heap on the floor of my tiny apartment kitchen. My body racked with sobs, missing my grama, and our family traditions, wanting so much for my mom and dad to be together again, and feeling just plain miserable that our family had deteriorated so much in one short year.

Then somehow, the tears stopped, and it occurred to me that I was being stupid, because of course my Aunt Fran would know how to make Grama’s squash! She was her only daughter, and my Grama Dee had lived with my Aunt Fran and her family for over 20 years! Excitedly, I called up my aunt and said “Aunt Fran, I’m really sad. I want to make grama’s squash, but I don’t know how.” She cracked up laughing and said “Well, Julie Anne, all it is, is a can of pet milk, a half stick of butter, and some boiled yellow squash sliced up in a pot.”

I was dumbfounded. Something so tasty? THAT SIMPLE? No way. But yes, it’s true. I found out, that some of the tastiest things are no more than a can of pet milk and a stick of butter, plus a vegetable or two.”Sweetie…that’s it. And Grama Dee used to like a lot of pepper, so don’t forget to add lots of pepper.” I sniffled…”I remember. I won’t forget.”

And so, here it is. A recipe so simple, even my dad could make it (and he barely knows how to open a can of Campbell’s).

BUTTERED SQUASH recipe from Doris Foxworthy

5-6 small yellow squash
1 can pet milk
1/2 stick butter
dash salt
dash black pepper


  1. Slice up your squash, in about 1/4″ slices.
  2. Add squash to a pot of boiling water (a medium-sized saucepan will do the trick).
  3. Boil until squash are tender, then drain.
  4. Return squash to pot, and add pet milk, butter, salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally until sauce thickens slightly, and squash begins to break down
  6. Ladle a huge spoonful into your favorite bowl, and enjoy!

Entry Filed under: comfort foods,hillbilly recipes,side dishes

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