All have come a long way from the earliest ancestral cucurbits, natives of Central and South America. These were tiny and bitter; archaeologists guess that prehistoric eaters gathered them for their protein- and oil-rich seeds. Other eaters were more enthusiastic. The 19th century was a hot era for squashes.
Many new varieties were collected by American sea captains in the West Indies or South America, brought back home, and planted in local gardens. Among these was the Hubbard squash, which went on to make one American entrepreneur very rich.
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Seedsman James J. Gregory of Marblehead, Massachusetts introduced the Hubbard squash to the American market in He was vague as to its origins, but explained that he had received his seeds from a Mrs. Since Mrs. Gregory named it after her. The original squash was green; Gregory later developed the creepy, but still tasty, blue variety. His business, fueled by Hubbard squash seeds, took off, and Gregory went on to make a name for himself in squashes, publishing, in , an authoritative how-to book titled Squashes: How to Grow Them.
If you can get past the fact that Hubbard squash looks like something that might eat the household pets, Mrs. The orange flesh tastes like sweet potato with a hint of pumpkin. You can use it pretty much like any other winter squash, once you get it open. Peace talks to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been frozen for years, but the long-awaited Trump plan to break the impasse has yet to arrive.
And now, despite conflicting messages about how and when it will happen, the United States is set to withdraw from Syria. It is illiberal in every sense of the word, and the United States is essentially missing in action.
Since the end of the Cold War, the Middle East has remained perpetually near the top of the American foreign policy agenda, kept there by the Persian Gulf War of , the American invasion of Iraq in , the Arab Spring and the battle against the Islamic State. American leaders have offered a range reasons for the great investment of American blood and treasure in the region: to replace dictatorships with democracies, to enhance the rule of law, to support allied governments and to fight terrorism.
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But for some scholars of the region, the concrete benefits of all that engagement pale in comparison to the size of the American efforts. A similar view of the region has shaped the approach of both the Obama and Trump administrations. Despite the drastic differences in their words and style, both have viewed the Middle East primarily as a source of nuisance that siphoned resources from other American priorities.
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Both presidents called on regional powers to play a greater role in protecting and governing the region. The immediate desire to step back was driven by battle fatigue after years of deadly combat in Iraq, and a feeling that American military investment often did not make matters better.
American protection is no longer necessary to ensure the free flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, for example, and a boom in domestic production has made the United States less dependent on Middle Eastern oil anyway. Sick, adding that the record on American interventions doing more good than harm was at best mixed. Others argue that American leverage still matters and can make a difference when the United States chooses to use it.
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They point to examples such as the Libyan dictator Col. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process began with and was nurtured by American involvement, although Mr. And pressure by American presidents pushed both Egypt and Saudi Arabia to take modest steps toward political openness.