Simple Squash – And Simply The Best Day Ever


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According to my kids, yesterday was the best day of their lives. Now if someone had told me that, my immediate question would be, “Wow, what did you do?” I’d be thinking Disney World or extravagant gifts, maybe a winning lottery ticket or two. But you know the great thing about kids, families, and humans in general is that though we often think it may take something big to create “the best day ever” it seldom actually does. Yesterday was the perfect example of this.

We had an uncharacteristically lazy day at Bountiful. Out of the four of us, not a soul was dressed til noon. I cooked a lunch of spaghetti made with tomatoes from our garden and we all sat down to eat together after our lazy morning, chatting about the upcoming school year over lunch and iced tea. Then we took our time getting ready and headed out to Sam’s Club to buy apples and coffee creamer (they have these Gala apples that are especially good right now and we use so much coffee creamer that we prefer the LARGE container).

As soon as we entered the store the kids started talking about the last time we’d come and the samples they’d gotten to try (there are a lot of sample vendors set up on weekends with the new foods) and we all set off at their urging to find the samples first. They were excited to get to try a new yogurt stick, vanilla yogurt, and samples of some newly arrived fruit. We wandered around the store a while and those apples, some bell peppers, juice, and a watermelon found their way into our buggy.

By now it had been about four hours since lunch and the kids mentioned being hungry. Ricky and I got to talking about how we didn’t have anything planned for supper to which they both chimed in with hopes of pizza and I said “You know, we could just eat here and let the kids sit at the little tables in the food court area.”

This casual suggestion was met with cheers of “YAY! We wanna eat here!” Apparently this had been a goal of theirs for some time as I’m always in a hurry to get home after we check out and my kids, unbeknownst to me, had been longing for a leisurely sit in the Sam’s Club food court.

 This was just too easy.
So we ate a supper of gargantuan pizza slices and oversized foam cups of tea while we talked some more about school lunches and such.
Then headed out to load our groceries in the car. When we left though, I turned out of the parking lot in the opposite direction of home. “What are you doing?” Ricky asked. “I’m about to make this day totally rock for the kids” I answered with a cryptic grin.  A few minutes later I heard more cheers as I pulled into an automatic car wash.

I stopped for the attendant to brush down the front and back  of my car with a sudsy broom as the kids watched in wide grinned wonder. He couldn’t help but see the faces pressed against the windows and he playfully slung suds at them, sending them into torrents of laughter. The other attendant motioned for me to pull up and line my car up with the track and then handed me two green suckers through the window for the kids. You’d think it was their first sucker at how tickled they both were.

In their eyes it was as if the entire universe had set aside today to give them the royal treatment all the way.

We drove through the car wash amid giggles and oohs as they waited for each new phase, their faces bright and happy with joy. As we pulled out and headed towards home they were quiet for a few minutes, until Katy pulled her sucker out of her mouth with a sigh of satisfaction and said “That was the best day ever.”

Brady joined in with his own satisfied sigh, “Yeah, it really was.” Then they both turned to watch the trek home out of their windows.

Sometimes it really is the simple things

So that is how I’m going to show you how to cook squash today. The simple way.

You’ll need yellow squash, an onion, salt, and pepper.

This is one of those recipes where you can make as much or as little as you like.

I’d suggest 1 squash and 1/4 onion per person. I’m going to use half of this onion.

By the way, I posted my recipe for Squash Casserole (my grandmother’s favorite casserole that I make) back when I first started Southern Plate. If you’d like to get that recipe and see some photography from the piteous camera I used back then, click here. The pictures aren’t that great, but the casserole is awesome!

Chop your onion and slice your squash.

Place them both in a large skillet.

I’m showing you how to do this on the stove top but I have instructions on how to do it in the microwave at the bottom as well.

add about a cup of water, just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet.

Now at this point, you can add about a tablespoon of bacon grease if you want to add in a bit more flavor. I’m just leaving mine water though because I dearly love the flavor of the squash on its own and the onion is compliment enough for me today.

Sometimes I do add bacon grease though, totally up to you.

Place on medium high heat just until the water in the bottom of the pan is gently boiling, then reduce heat to medium.

Put the lid on that and let it cook over medium heat for about ten minutes, or until the squash and onions are translucent

Translucent is fancy talk for “til they ain’t so white like they was when ya cut ’em”

Now see this is a photo of some squash translucent and some not. See that squash in the center?

That one is done, stick a fork in it and eat up right now if ya want!

You can see some of the other ones still have a bit of white on them so they need a few more minutes

There, all done! Now we just gotta get them out with a slotted spoon to drain the water, place them on a plate and salt and pepper them!

Isn’t it pretty in this Jewel Tea bowl?

Salt and Pepper according to taste and you’re ready to go!

Simple Squash
  • Yellow Squash (I am using two), sliced
  • ½ Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon bacon grease, optional (I left it out this time)
  • water, salt, pepper
  1. Place squash and onion in skillet. Add bacon grease (if using) and about 1 cup of water, just enough to cover bottom of pan and bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cover, simmering for about ten minutes or until squash and onions are translucent. Strain out of the pan and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Microwave instructions:

Place squash and onion in microwave safe bowl. Add water. Cover with cling wrap and microwave on high three to four minutes, or until translucent. Drain water and salt and pepper to taste.

My squash casserole recipe may be found by clicking here.

Happiness is where you find it, seldom where you seek it.

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  1. Dianne says

    My grandmother went a little further with squash and onions. When her squash reached the above level of doneness, the lid would come off and she would start to brown it. Brown it a little, then stir, brown it and stir, brown it and stir. It would takes at least 15 more minutes. The squash would become a deep golden color and the flavor would be concentrated. That was the only way I knew squash. I remember the first time I had it out somewhere I thought what was this weak, pale watery stuff? Whatever it was, it sure wasn’t squash. I occasionally go to a cafeteria type place and if there is any of this pale stuff there, I just pass it on by.

    • Lisa Robinson says

      I thought my grandmother was the only one to make it this way. Nobody has ever heard of doing it this way. It is the only way i will eat squash and it brings back so many memories of my childhood.

  2. Angie says

    My Mother made squash as Dianne’s did. She would brown it, most of the time. She would make it like this when I would tell her I couldn’t wait that long to eat it! I make it for my 5 & 6 yrs olds. Everytime we go to the grocery store, my 5 yr old son says “we need some more of that yellow vegable” I’ll let him pick it out, and he is just so tickled! I love your site. You cook like my Mother did, and how I cook now for my kids. I tell them stories about my Mom, and why she would cook something a certain way. It keeps the memories alive for me. Thank you Christy for all you put on here.

    • SweetCarol says

      How neat. I didn’t pay much attention when my mom cooked. The kitchen was small and she didn’t want us underfoot most of the time. She had a Chocolate Gravy Recipe we got by measuring everything before she put it in as she never used directions. She did it by feel and look. I don’t recall her making squash, but we do. I like to add zucchini slices in my squash, too, as both are really a squash, one yellow neck and the other zudcchini. We love the onions and add a bit more. We have eaten them soft like this but browned sounds interesting. might try that with a little next time, though I think I’d rather fry it in a bit of spray oil. I sometimes wrap it in parchment and put a piece of tilapia on top and cook the veggies with the tilapia and add a bit of lemon pepper.

  3. says

    My mother taught me how to make squash when I was younger and I thought
    someone else might like to try it. You cut your squash and onions up same size so it will cook evenly. You stick this in a pot , you cover squash and onions with water. Enough to boil. Add salt and pepper. Wait 10 minutes before done and add a can of evaporated milk and a little bit of butter. It’s done! It’s almost like a soup.

  4. Shirley Towe says

    OK, here’s one better.
    Brown some cubed potatoes in a small amount of oil, add the onions next and then the squash.
    I usually add a little butter, salt and pepper and brown to taste. You will think you have died and gone to heaven.. A complete meal in itself

    • SweetCarol says

      This sounds good with potato and the squash. Bet that does taste good. I often do a stir fry in which I add carrots onions, chicken pieces, celery and then I add things that don’t take as long to cook like peppers, green and red, squash, zucchini, baby corn that is canned, bean sprouts near the last, sweet pea pods, and sometimes get a bag of veggies to have the mix. the squash makes it all taste so sweet and good. Could add a bit of cabbage earlier on as well.
      I cook stir fry like my mother would have had she ever fixed stir fry, just by what I had and what looked good and what I thought of and by sight and feel.

  5. rocio says

    Christy! Onion and squash together are so delicious, the onion gives the squash such a sweet flavor! Sometimes I sautee my onions with some tomatoes and jalapenos and then when the onions are soft and translucent I add the squash, some water and salt. Makes such flavorful squash! Even my husband who doesnt like squash eats it.

  6. Christy says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My mother always cooked squash and onions in butter and lots of it. In an effort to eat healthy I have been searching for a better way to cook it. I can’t wait to try this.

  7. Susan Morris says

    My dear mother-in-law taught me to make yellow squash with onions, but she added a couple of boiled eggs to the squash after it was cooked. That was truly wonderful. Her name was Venita Farr Morris. My granddaughter loves it this way.

  8. kelli jean says

    Oh my Christy, I just had a childhood moment, when I saw your Jewel Tea dish. My Mamaw had the same set , and every time I see them I always think of her. The squash recipe reminds me of my other grandmother. Thanks for the sweet memory .

  9. Waneta Toyama says

    Made this tonight with my new automatic steamer, had pork chops, mashed potatoes, gravy and this squash recipe. It was so good I ended up eating some potatoes and gravy and several helpings of squash, did not need the pork chop. Loved this but then have loved the recipes that you have posted on here. Squash is my new vegetable…..thank you

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