Food for a dark and rainy evening – butternut squash toad in the hole

I wrote my column last week (for the day job) about the very great pleasures of autumnal cooking, of those nippy days when you come home to concoct something warming, The contrasts just can’t be bettered and there’s no such attractive positioning of opposites every evening summer. We leave a hot day to walk into a hotter, humid house – yuck, I’d rather be a bit cold for the very great pleasure it then gives me to step into a cosy home, hunker down under a blanket, and don snuggly clothes such as thick socks, fleecy pyjamas and big chunky jumpers. Bliss. 

As it’s colder, the autumn standard meals are coming out – and one of them is this. Bangers suit this season so well, and I am a particular fan of good old Toad in the Hole. We’re always trying to include vegetables when we can, and this is a perfect example of a dish where you can tuck them in and it still always seems to turn out fine, especially if you don’t get neurotic about the height of your rise. As I am in the business of feeding the family, not winning awards, I never worry about just this issue.

I tend to throw some sprigs of rosemary on top before cooking. This time, I went a step further, attacking some – not too much – with the mezzaluna and adding it to the batter. It worked a treat, adding just the right amount of scent and taste. 

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All in all, the husband was a very appreciative audience for the end product. He’s not half bad really and doles out praise quite generously! I was also chuffed with it and the batter was nicely light too. And it rose just as much as I could have hope for, given how much else I threw in the tin with it. 

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