2 cups self-rising white cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup pumpkin, puréed* (can also use canned)
1 cup yellow squash, puréed **
1 can cream of chicken
½ cup chopped celery
1 stick of butter, melted
1 small onion, chopped
pepper to taste
1. Pour oil into a medium-sized cast-iron skillet.
2. Preheat oven to 425°, with skillet in the oven to allow oil to heat.
3. Mix cornmeal, 1 egg, & buttermilk. Mixture will be grainy but should have a liquid consistency; you may add a little more buttermilk if it looks too dry or lumpy.
4. Carefully remove hot oil from oven and pour into batter, leaving just a coating of oil in the skillet. Stir.
5. Slowly pour batter into the hot skillet.
6. Place full skillet carefully back in oven & allow to bake for 20 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick in the center and it comes back out clean.
7. Once the cornbread is done baking, remove from oven and allow to cool by turning it out onto a plate or baking rake.
8. Turn oven temperature down to 325°.
9. Meanwhile, wash & cube yellow squash. Then cook in a pot of water over medium heat until tender. Drain well, then purée in a food processor or mash very well with a fork or potato masher.
10. If you are using a whole pumpkin rather than canned, wash it, cut it in half, & scoop out the seeds & stringy parts. *** Then cut the meat away from the skin (like you would a cantaloupe) and cube. Place in a pot of water on the stove over medium heat until tender. Once tender, drain & purée or mash just like you did the squash.****
11. When the cornbread is cool enough to handle, cut & crumble chunks until you have 2 cups worth (any remaining cornbread can be saved and served with the dressing or another dish).
12. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, including crumbled cornbread, puréed squash & puréed pumpkin, stirring until well mixed.
13. Pour slowly into a large casserole dish, and bake for 1 hour until slightly firm.
*Pie pumpkins are best for this type of recipe. They are the smaller variety, usually only 6-8″ in diameter, typically stocked by grocers starting in late September.
**With both the pumpkin and the squash, look for ones that are firm, rich in color, and have no bruises or soft spots.
***If desired, you can save the seeds for roasting or to plant.
****Any leftover squash or pumpkin purée can be sealed in freezer bags (be sure to push out excess air) and saved for future use.