The varieties of edible squash now available are fantastic, and I encourage you to move beyond the butternut and delve into the strange shapes and colours of the other squash on offer.  They are also the ultimate vegetable for the panic buyers out there, as you can store them for months, festooning the table with seasonal colour and wonderful shapes, until armageddon arrives and you can happily start devouring the table decorations.

We have the green mottled Kabocha, originally from Japan, with a lovely chestnut flavour and velvety texture that is ideal in soups, Hokkaido has a vibrant orange exterior and interior which looks superb on a plate roasted with garlic and chilli, Carnival, with its multi-coloured skin with a flavour reminiscent of a sweet potato, the buttercup is lovely mashed, while Pattypan is creamy and buttery, that you can cut into chunks and roast, or cut out the top and roast it whole.