Michelle Ryan

Squash is the word!
Squash is the word!

While I’m SUPER excited about tomorrow night’s “Sing Along Grease” at the Virginia (a benefit for the CENTER FOR WOMEN IN TRANSITION), right now SQUASH is the word. (sing with me – “it’s got vitamin C, it’s got fiber!” Sorry, I’m a little obsessed with the show and the curcubit!)

Things are starting to wind down with the Urbana Market at the Square – but they are by no means done for the season! There are four markets remaining, and in my opinion there’s no more beautiful time of year to shop. Pumpkins, gourds, gorgeous fresh-cut flowers and mums, fall decor and fashions all line the aisles that while a bit less crowded, are still full of goodies. The beets and turnips were DELICIOUS…


Speaking of fashion – I read in my Market Mail today that you can shop for Market merchandise this Saturday, “including a variety of new Market at the Square t-shirts in assorted colors and sizes (for men, women and children) as well as a limited edition PUT A BIRD ON IT t-shirt (also available in men, women and children sizes).    Adult t-shirts are $10 and children’s t-shirts are $8.” What a great way to show support for the best way to spend your Saturday mornings in C/U!

But back to the squash! I’ve been obsessed with squash of every shape, size, and color for the past several week. Last Saturday I bought spaghetti squash, butternut squash, zucchini, and yellow squash. I also baked acorn squash (before work the other day) using a simple recipe:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Turn acorn squash (cut in half lengtwise) upside down onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until it begins to soften, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Remove squash from the oven and turn onto a plate so that the flesh is facing upwards. Place 1 Tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. brown sugar into the squash, and place remaining squash on top of the other piece. Place squash in a baking dish (so the squash won’t slide around too much) while baking.
  4. Place squash in the 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven and bake another 30 minutes.

One thing I always do when baking squash – microwave it first so that it’s easier to cut in half. Scoop out seeds and you’re ready to go! I’ve been eating this with a little salt and some tasty Market honey.

So many things are in season at the Market right now, and according to Market Mail, “you’ll find over a dozen different types of apples, including: red delicious, jonathon, gala, mutsu, winesap, keepsake, ozark gold, and more…cabbage, cauliflower, squash (acorn, spaghetti, butternut), greens, beans, turnips, peppers (red, green, yellow, orange, purple, hot, sweet), pumpkins, chard, onions, and assorted kale.” I could barely fit this bunch of kale ($2!!!) in my (huge) canvas bag:

big kale

Gooey pecan pull-apart bread, angel food cake, cream cheese iced cinnamon rolls, crusty french bread…grass-fed meats and farm fresh eggs…artisans on site with their beautiful fall-inspired handiwork…the Urbana Market at the Square runs through November 2nd. After that, the Holiday Market moves inside Lincoln Square (run by the Urbana Business Association). Don’t miss one of your last chances to eat local and shop local!


About Michelle

FAVE MIX ARTISTS: Adele, P!nk, The Killers
FAVE MOVIE: When Harry Met Sally
FAVE LOCAL BARS: Boltini, Tumble Inn
CURRENTLY READING: Nightmares and Dreamscapes
PET PEEVE: People who feel sorry for themselves
I GET TEASED FOR: excessive ironing, being too frugal
ON MY BUCKET LIST: ziplining, going to Europe, whitewater rafting, running a 10k, getting a tattoo (maybe…)
WHEN I’M NOT AT WORK I’M: playing sports or working out at Refinery, doing stuff around my house, or reading