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Maple syrup sweetens acorn squash dish

Acor squash are a favorite at this time of year and are especially good when combined with maple syrup, as in this recipe. The squashes vary in size, so choose ones that are uniform, and allow a half of a squash for each person. They are particularly delicious as a vegetable accompaniment to pork and chicken. Maple Baked Acorn Squash 2 one-pound acorn squash 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 8 teaspoons pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With a sharp knife, cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out all seeds and cut away any stringy filaments.

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Arrange squash halves side by side, hollow surfaces up, in a baking dish just large enough to hold them comfortably. Put 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup in each half and sprinkle insides of squash evenly with salt and a few grindings of pepper.

Pour enough boiling water down the sides of the dish to rise to about 1 inch around the squash. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, or until squash are tender and show no resistance when pierced deeply with the point of a small, sharp knife. Keep a kettle of boiling water at hand and replenish water in baking dish if it cooks away. Serve at once.

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