The more I'm living by myself and in the kitchen now, I realize that there are so many fruits and vegetables that I have never handled entirely before (aka pineapple). So for anyone else out there who is just like me, here are five easy steps to maneuvering a butternut squash (or pretty much any cylindrical shaped squash or melon).
1. Wash and observe. Since it is long-shaped, it makes sense to cut off the ends and deal with it lengthwise.
2. After cutting off the ends, place it upright and cut it sagittally (...is that term only used in anatomy?). Or to rephrase, cut it in half lengthwise. You want to always make a flat surface to work with (this goes for anything you're cutting). This way is most efficient and safest.
3. Scoop out all the seeds.
4. Cut the halves into several 2-3 inch slices. Then with the pieces laying on their sides, carefully cut off the thick layer of skin. Try not taking off too much of the meat layer!
5. Now that it is totally skinned, you can pretty much finish chopping up your squash into any shape you want to!
For ideas on what to make with butternut squash, why not try out this recipe of roasted squash with Italian sausage?