Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Plus, no dishes to wash

Rebecca Firkser
November 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is always going to be stressful. My mind always buzzes with worst-case-scenarios: What if I undercook the meat or put salt instead of sugar in the pie? Will I run out of ice? And that reminds me, do I have enough cups for everyone? While a few deep breaths and can solve most problems (and hey, you can always order a pizza if everything goes to shit), the cups one always gets me. I really don’t feel like buying a new set of cups for one party, nor do I want to toss 50 solo cups into the trash at the end of the night. So I’ve decided to turn to squash.

Yes, squash. Turns out, everyone’s favorite thing to roast in the fall actually makes a pretty great cup. Here’s how to do it.

Acorn or Sweet Dumpling squash work best here. Sweet Dumplings are about the size of a large Moscow Mule cup and they’re somewhat flat on the bottom, so they sit on a table like real cups. Acorn squash bottoms will have to be carefully trimmed so they can be placed on a table. Or, alternatively, try never putting your drink down?

Obtain one Sweet Dumpling squash for each person you imagine will be drinking. Slice off the top of the squash about 1-2 inches from the top to see the seedy interior. Scoop out the stringy flesh and seeds, saving the seeds for toasting if you’re so inclined. Scrape the slimy layer of flesh on the outer wall of the squash to expose the dryer flesh.

Now, the fun part: fill your cups with a mixed drink. You can go with a stiff cocktail, or a milder aperitif with something like Campari or Lillet. Drop in a straw and add garnish if you like.

Photo by Rebecca Firkser

When your guests are done with their squash cups, you can breathe a sigh of relief that they won’t go in the dirty dish pile. Just compost the squash and move on with your life. However, if you really hate tossing edible food, you can give the cups a little rinse to get rid of the drink remnants, dry them off with dish towels and pop the squash on a sheet pan. Rub them with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast at 300ºF for a couple hours.

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