The Casserole Dish

Writing Challenge: Nov 27, 2017

Prompt: Write something inspired by a recipe

*Recipe included at the bottom*

My schedule is busy, so busy in-fact that on Sundays I cook all the meals I will be eating for the following week. That week, I was making a delicious spaghetti squash.

I had picked up a beautiful squash at the farmer’s market. It’s size, shape, and color were near perfection; I couldn’t wait to cook it up and eat the mouth-watering vegetable. I preheated the oven to 400 while I cut the large gourd in half. I would turning the springy-mesh into a casserole of sorts to make it easier to pack and eat for weekday lunches. I had done this before with great success and saw no reason why I shouldn’t repeat it. I added oil to an old, glass, 9X13 inch baking dish and set the two squash halves inside. After sprinkling with olive-oil, salt, and pepper I placed the dish in the now-ready oven. So far, so good.

I drank my coffee and read a paper as the squash baked in the oven. When 20 minutes had passed I checked the tender, yellow flesh. Deeming the vegetable perfectly roasted, I took my pot holders and lifted the dish out of the oven. Before I had even placed the hot dish on the waiting stovetop, the glass shattered into thousands of sharp, burning pieces. In utter shock, I froze. Here I was, barefoot and surrounded by white-hot, razor-sharp glass.

“What just happened- what do I do- well, shit!” Whether I thought it or shouted it out loud I don’t know. In any case, I was trapped. How did this happen? I preheated the oven correctly. I’ve made this recipe before. I’ve used this casserole dish a hundred times- how was I supposed to move?!

After a second that felt like an eternity, I took the squash halves that landed on the flat-surface stove top and checked them for glass. Finding them miraculously glass-free, I set them aside. I grabbed a dishtowel within my reach and very carefully brushed aside the glass to create a path out of the kitchen to find a broom and dustpan to clear up the mess. As I swept and mopped up the mess I began to laugh to myself about the incident. The dish, I realized, was over 30-years-old and likely cracked. I was lucky that I was neither cut nor burnt. heartened by the simple fact that I escaped unscratched I found another dish to use to finish my meal, planned to apologize profusely to my grandmother, who’s old dish now lay in pieces in the outdoors garbage for pick-up the following morning.

Though I spent more time cleaning the stove-top and floor than I did preparing the meal, my lunches that week were delicious.


Recipe: Garlic-Cheese Spaghetti Squash

1 Spaghetti Squash- baked

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups Italian Cheese mix

2 gloves garlic- minced

olive oil- drizzled

salt and pepper to taste


1- cut squash in half or in rings, and remove seeds

2- place Squash in oven-safe cookware and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Bake squash at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until flesh is tender (20-40 min depending on cut)

2- In a bowl mix cheese, cream, garlic, salt (to taste) and pepper (to taste)

3- When flesh is tender, remove squash from oven.

4- At this point you may either fill spaghetti squash halves with with the cheese mix, or scoop out the stringy flesh of the squash into a casserole dish and mix with the cheese mixture. (the casserole version is easier to pack in lunches for later).

5- Cook the squash and cheese mixture at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until the cheese mixture is golden brown.

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