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Sunday, January 9, 2011

January Fun with Autumn Harvested Mutt WInter Squash

I save seeds and don't keep labels straight. Or maybe it was the pollinators fault and the seeds I planted were not pure bred anyway. The larger winter squash varieties (including pumpkin) are vigorous growers, once they get going. They can grow fast enough to survive the hungry onslaughts of ground hogs and deer ... with some help from me to do some discouraging of those mammals.  These growing outside the garden fence help entertain the unwanted eaters and reduce the likelihood of them getting in the garden. And I usually get some fruit out of the deal. I found out that the squash fruit can heal from bites from the deer. The fruit scabs over.

This one has been in a cool room in the house (temperature range between 50 and 60 degrees F) since it was brought indoors late October, before the killing frost.

Here is the squash cut in half:
on the most green outside you can see light brown scars from animal bites

Humm, from the above photo, the size is unclear.

Here is another picture with a frame of reference.

 The depth doesn't show. I held a half over my belly and looked 6 month pregnant.

This squash is a "womb" with lots of umbilical cords! One leading to each and every seed! See next photo:

Most of the seeds are hidden under the strands (umbilical cords).
Black and white was good to shoot the next photo in:

AND here is a gross up, uh, that is close up of that hand full of seeds.

And here is one more, in color with most of the goo washed off:

One half went onto a sheet of freezer paper to cover the cut side and into the extra refrigerator in the basement.
One half got 3/4 processed or eaten. Some was cut into 1/2 x 1 inch cubes, steamed and buttered. Some was cut into 1x1/2x 4 inch strips and gently browned in olive oil. Some was cut up into bite sized chunks or long strips, steamed and placed on a cookie sheet and placed in the deep freeze. I am allergic to wheat, so these frozen chunks will be my "pasta"  to include in stir fries or to top salads later.

Goofy looking stringy parts and irregular chunks were cooked down with some cranberry and apricot in a low water pot. That will be combined with rice flour and egg and be cooked as a pudding later. All the previously mentioned winter squash flesh had been peeled. The green peels are so tender and thin that I chopped them up and will make whey based kimchee from them.

In addition to this midwinter eating, I enjoyed immature squash back in the fall.
The blossoms are edible too. They do not have much of a taste, but they do add color to salads.

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