Exp-hair-iment: Day 12 (and squash tricks)

Twelve days without shampoo! Though I don't think it's the lack of shampoo that makes the transition hard. It's extending the time between washes. My hair is wet with oil. But I'm stubborn, so today is the sixth day since my second baking soda wash and distilled white vinegar rinse. With no dry shampoo. There is so much oil in my hair, I can flip the ends under with a twist of my brush. And they stay. It's disturbing.

I'm very much looking forward to washing tonight! I left the water boiling longer than intended and my baking soda formula is more concentrated than the first batch. Since I'm so oily that may be a happy accident.

Squash Secrets
Various squash are some of my favorite vegetables... but winter squash top the list. Beautiful and versatile, and with a few little tricks they're even easy to work with.

When I first started trying to incorporate winter squash into my menu, I would wrestle with them all over the kitchen, hacking away at them with a knife. In the end they'd finally be open and I'd be a sweaty, most likely bleeding, and exhausted. Then I'd gather my courage and go about gutting them with a spoons.

The taste kept me coming back to mangle new victims when I felt up to it.

Two tricks have me turning them out almost as pretty as they left the vine and without breaking a sweat.

First, after removing stickers and cleaning them ... I microwave them for 1 minute. It softens them (by steaming from the inside?) and the knife slips through much more easily, allowing for clean-cut edges and without me breaking a sweat (or skin).

Then I use an avacado tool instead of a blunt spoon. There are two ends, one strung with wire for slicing, and one for scooping out the avacado's seed. It's perfect for scooping out squash seeds too, and the then edge makes it easy to remove all the strings and leave a nice smooth bowl to contain whatever culinary creativity is thrown at it.